Exeter Resident Sentenced to Six years in Prison for Possessing Child Pornography
CONCORD – United States Attorney Scott W. Murray announced today that William Pothier, 58, of Exeter was sentenced to serve six years (72 months) in prison for possessing child pornography.
On February 13, 2018, a jury convicted Pothier after hearing evidence that the Exeter Police Department received information in January 2016 that an IP address affiliated with a residence in Exeter, New Hampshire, was allegedly making images of child pornography available for sharing through the peer-to-peer file sharing software Shareaza. After further investigation by Internet Crimes Against Children Task force members from the Exeter Police Department, the Hampton Police Department, the Portsmouth Police Department, and the Strafford County Sheriff’s Office, a search warrant was executed at the residence on March 30, 2016. A forensic examination of a laptop seized during the search discovered videos and thumbnail images of child pornography. Other evidence associated the laptop with William Pothier, a Federal Aviation Administration employee.
After serving his prison sentence, Pothier will be on supervised release for 20 years. Pothier also will have to register as a sex offender and pay a $5,000 fine and a $5,000 special assessment.
“In order to protect the safety of our children, it is vital to identify and prosecute those who distribute or possess child pornography,” said U.S. Attorney Murray. “Protecting children from exploitation is a high priority of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. I commend the law enforcement officers whose hard work resulted in this federal prosecution.”
“Mr. Pothier tried to hide behind the anonymity of the internet to prey on young children who were sexually assaulted, and by sharing their images, repeatedly re-victimized and exploited them,” said Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Boston Division. “Our children need to be protected from predators like him, and the FBI and our law enforcement partners are committed to rooting out criminals who engage in violent and deplorable sexual crimes against our most vulnerable.”
“This investigation demonstrates our commitment to pursing individuals that participate in such nefarious illegal activities,” stated Todd Damiani, U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, Regional Special Agent in Charge. “Working with Federal, State and local law enforcement and prosecutorial partners, we will continue our vigorous efforts in upholding the public’s confidence in the integrity of those employed by the Department of Transportation.”
The Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were the lead federal agencies on the investigation. The Exeter Police Department, the Hampton Police Department, the Portsmouth Police Department, and the Strafford County Sheriff’s Office all contributed to the investigation and successful prosecution of the case. Assistant United States Attorney Donald A. Feith prosecuted the case.
In February 2006, the Department of Justice introduced Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.