North Augusta Man Pleads to Possession of Child Pornography
Contact Person: Bill Day (803) 929-3000
Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that James O'Neal Arthur, Jr., age 57, of North Augusta, South Carolina has entered a guilty plea in federal court in Columbia, to Possession of Child Pornography, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252S(a)(5)(B). United States District Judge J. Michelle Childs of Columbia accepted the guilty plea and will impose sentence after she has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that Arthur was an employee of a government contractor, near Aiken, when an internet audit was conducted on April 1, 2014. The audit revealed Arthur had been visiting inappropriate websites so he was sent home while a review was conducted. While at home, Arthur contacted co-workers in an effort to get them to hide laptop computers and hard drives he had in his office. A forensic examination of the material found in his office uncovered thousands of images of minor females engaged in sexually suggestive/explicit conduct. Further investigation revealed that Arthur had been producing child pornography for years by making videos, and then producing thousands of pictures by making still photos from the films.
Mr. Nettles stated the maximum penalty for Possession of Child Pornography is imprisonment for 10 years and/or a fine of $250,000.
The case was investigated by agents of the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations. Assistant United States Attorney William E. Day, II of the Columbia office is prosecuting 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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.