Lubbock County Man Admits Possessing Child Pornography
LUBBOCK, Texas—Stephen Carpenter, 33, of Slaton, Texas, appeared in federal court today, before U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings, and pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography. Carpenter, who is on bond, faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. Judge Cummings ordered a presentence investigation report with a sentencing date to be set after the completion of that report. U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña, of the Northern District of Texas, made the announcement today.
According to plea documents filed in the case, Carpenter used a file-sharing program to search for depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Carpenter downloaded and viewed many of these depictions in the form of video files, and on February 14, 2013, Carpenter was found to be in possession of a computer containing depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative, which was launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals, who sexually exploit children, and identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/. For more information about internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/ and click on the tab “resources.”
The investigation is being conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Slaton Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Sucsy is in charge of the prosecution.