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Press Release

Cherokee Man Sentenced to Over 29 Years in Federal Prison For Sexually Exploiting a Child

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Buckingham made videos of himself sexually abusing a child under the age of 12.

A Cherokee man who took videos while sexually abusing a minor child pled guilty on February 17, 2023, in federal court in Sioux City.  James Franklin Buckingham, age 33, from Cherokee, Iowa was convicted of sexual exploitation of a minor.

In a plea agreement, Buckingham admitted that he sexually abused a minor child, under the age of 12.  While sexually abusing the child, Buckingham took at least 4 videos of the abuse.

Buckingham was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand to 354 months’ imprisonment, he was also ordered to make a payment of $4,116.35 in restitution to the victim.  Buckingham must also serve a 7-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit  For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab “resources.”

Buckingham is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

The case was investigated by Cherokee Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigations and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ron Timmons. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 22-CR-04067.

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Updated June 16, 2023

Project Safe Childhood