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Press Release

Johnston Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Possessing Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE –  A Johnston man who admitted to possessing more than 2,000 videos and images of child pornography has been sentenced to three years in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.

Jon Knowles, 49, admitted to a federal judge in May that he employed a computer software program to download encrypted “pieces” of files used to assemble digital files. In June and August of 2021, Knowles used the software program to download and assemble at least three sexually explicit video files depicting prepubescent females.

On November 17, 2021, FBI agents conducted a court-authorized search of Knowles’ residence and seized several electronic devices. A forensic audit of the devices resulted in the discovery of 2,075 videos and 342 images of child pornography.

Knowles pleaded guilty on May 9, 2022, to a charge of possession of child pornography. He was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Mary S. McElroy to thirty-six months in federal prison to be followed by ten years of federal supervised release and ordered to pay a $5,000 special assessment as required by the Justice for Victims Trafficking Act in child sexual exploitation cases where the Court makes a finding that the defendant is not indigent.

The matter, investigated by the FBI, was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee H. Vilker.




Jim Martin
(401) 709-5357

Updated August 31, 2022

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 22-118