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Press Release

Watertown Man Pleads Guilty to Distribution, Receipt, and Possession of Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Joseph Williams, 30, of Watertown, New York, pled guilty today to distributing, receiving and possessing child pornography, announced United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith, James N. Hendricks, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Albany Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and New York State Police Superintendent Keith Corlett.

In entering his guilty plea today in United States District Court, Williams, admitted that he used the Kik Messenger application to distribute and receive child pornography from other Kik users from January 2016 through June 2016.  Williams used his iPhone to trade images of child pornography via the internet.  Execution of search warrants on Williams’ desktop and laptop computers revealed that he possessed 4,875 images and 2,052 video files depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The images and videos included depictions of the rape and sodomy of prepubescent children and toddlers.

Senior United States District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy will sentence Williams on January 2, 2020.  He faces at least 5 years and up to 20 years in prison for the distribution and receipt charges and up to 20 years in prison on the possession charge, a term of post-release supervision of at least 5 years and up to life, and a fine of up to $250,000. Williams will also be required to register as a sex offender.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the New York State Police, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey J. L. Brown.

This case is being prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood.  Launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, Project Safe Childhood is led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), and is designed to marshal federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated September 25, 2019

Project Safe Childhood