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Press Release

Child Molester Sentenced to 20 Years in Federal Prisons

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina

Contact Person: Brad Parham (843) 665-6688

Columbia, South Carolina---- United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that  Joseph Smith was sentenced April 17, 2015, in federal court in Florence, South Carolina, for Production of Child Pornography, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2251(a), and Possession of Child Pornography, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(5)(B).  Chief United States District Judge R. Bryan Harwell of Florence sentenced Smith to 240 months imprisonment and supervised release for life

Evidence presented at the guilty plea hearing established that Smith made numerous video recordings of himself while molesting a minor child.  Agents discovered that Smith then distributed these sexually explicit videos over the internet. During a search of Smith’s computer, agents also uncovered a significant amount of child pornography depicting sexually explicit images of prepubescent children.

The case was investigated by agents of the Immigration and Custom Enforcement.  Assistant United States Attorney A. Bradley Parham of the Florence office prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of 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, please visit


Updated April 17, 2015