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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Oregon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Convicted Sex Offender Sentenced to Ten Years in Prison in Child Pornography Case

PORTLAND, Ore. – On Monday, September 19, 2016, U.S. District Judge Marco H. Hernandez sentenced Samuel Ira Dowell to 10 years in federal prison and 15 years’ supervised release after the defendant pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography. Dowell, 31, was on post-prison supervision following an Oregon state conviction for attempted first-degree sexual abuse when he committed the offense for which he was sentenced.

In the federal case, Dowell met a 13-year-old girl on an Internet website and exchanged sexually explicit correspondence with her online and by telephone for a period of time. They spoke of meeting in person, engaging in various sexual activities, and having children together. Dowell’s activities came to light after the victim’s mother discovered their communications and reported them to her local police department. Investigators identified Dowell and learned that he was a convicted sex offender living in Oregon. During a home visit, Dowell’s probation officer discovered evidence of his communications with the victim. A forensic examination of the defendant’s computer equipment revealed sexually explicit images and videos of the victim and other children. Dowell and the victim, who lives in another state, never met in person.

Judge Hernandez described the nature and circumstances of the offense as “horrible,” and Dowell’s history and character as “deeply disturbing.” Seeing Dowell as a danger to the community, particularly to children, Judge Hernandez imposed a lengthy and stringent list of conditions with which Dowell must comply while on supervised release. These include prohibitions on contact with minors (including the victim and her family), a requirement to undergo mental health and sex offender treatment, restrictions on where Dowell may work and reside, and restrictions on computer usage and access to the Internet. Dowell, who told Judge Hernandez that he was prepared to accept the consequences of his actions, will also be required to register as a sex offender.

“The defendant’s conduct in this case is alarming,” said Billy J. Williams, United States Attorney for the District of Oregon. “Dowell is a convicted sex offender who took advantage of a vulnerable adolescent girl he met online and continued to exploit her, even after her mother attempted to intervene. This sentence,” continued U.S. Attorney Williams, “is a significant sanction for very troubling behavior that we, as a society, are simply not willing to tolerate.”

The investigation was a collaborative effort on the part of the local police department in the victim’s hometown, the Multnomah County Department of Community Justice, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Sussman, Project Safe Childhood Coordinator for the District of Oregon.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Launched in May 2006 by the U.S. Department of Justice and 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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated September 20, 2016