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Press Release

Repeat Offender Sentenced to Over 21 Years in Federal Prison for Distributing Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Cedar Rapids Man Previously Convicted of Receipt of Child Pornography

A man who distributed child pornography and had previously been convicted in federal court of receiving child pornography was sentenced today to over 21 years in federal prison.

Craig Watters, age 31, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the sentence after a November 1, 2017 guilty plea to one count of distribution of child pornography.  At the plea hearing, Watters admitted that, in 2014, he knowingly distributed child pornography.  He also admitted that he was convicted of receipt of child pornography in the Northern District of Iowa in 2009. 

Watters was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge Linda R. Reade.  Watters was sentenced to 262 months’ imprisonment.  A special assessment of $100 was imposed, and he was ordered to make $6,500 in restitution to two victims depicted in videos he received or distributed.  Watters must also serve a life term of supervised release, and he must comply with all sex offender registration and public notification requirements. 

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark Tremmel and was investigated by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the Cedar Rapids Police Department. 

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.” 

Court file information is available at  The case file number is CR 17-69. 

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Updated May 21, 2018

Project Safe Childhood