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Press Release

Watertown Man Sentenced to 160 Months for Distribution, Receipt and Possession of Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York
Joseph Williams Possessed Thousands of Child Pornography Images and Videos

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Joseph Williams, age 31, of Watertown, New York, was sentenced on Wednesday to serve 160 months in prison for receiving and possessing child pornography, announced United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith, Susan Ferensic, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and New York State Police Superintendent Keith Corlett.

As part of his earlier guilty plea, Williams admitted that he used the Kik Messenger application to trade child pornography with other Kik users in 2016.   Execution of search warrants on Williams’ computers in February 2018 revealed that he possessed 4,875 images and 2,052 video files depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, including depictions of the rape and sodomy of prepubescent children and toddlers.  In addition to the large number of files he possessed, other factors taken into account in sentencing included Williams’ admission that he took surreptitious pictures of children in the community and shared them with others on the Internet, and that he possessed a manual on how to find, groom, and sexually abuse children.

Senior United States District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy also imposed a 20-year term of supervised release, which will start after Williams is released from prison, ordered a $300 special assessment, and restitution in the amount of $3,000 per victim for each of 15 children depicted in the images and videos that Williams received, distributed, and possessed. As a result of his conviction, Williams will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison.

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

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). Project Safe Childhood marshals 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 March 13, 2020

Project Safe Childhood