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Press Release

Columbia County man sentenced to federal prison for possession of child sexual exploitation material

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Georgia
Defendant was on state felony probation when arrested

AUGUSTA, GA:  A Columbia County man has been sentenced to nearly eight years in prison after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography.

Robert James Thompson, 35, of Grovetown, was sentenced to 90 months in prison after previously pleading guilty to Possession of Child Pornography, said Jill E. Steinberg, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. U.S. District Court Chief Judge J. Randal Hall also ordered Thompson to pay $8,000 in restitution to victims, to register as a sex offender, and to serve 15 years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.

“The safety of our community demands that predators like Thompson be identified and taken off the streets,” said U.S. Attorney Steinberg. “With our law enforcement partners, we will be diligent in protecting our most vulnerable citizens.”

As described in court documents and testimony, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children shared a cybertip with the FBI indicating the online presence of multiple electronic images depicting sexual exploitation of children.

FBI agents conducted a search of Thompson’s electronic devices in July 2022 and found dozens of images of child pornography. Thompson was on felony probation for a state burglary conviction at the time of his arrest.

“Child pornography is abuse of society’s most vulnerable population. It is also a second victimization for a child who has already been traumatized,” said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The FBI remains committed to protecting our children and is thankful for the law enforcement partnerships that make it possible to stop people like Thompson from victimizing anyone else.”

The case was investigated by the FBI, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremiah L. Johnson.

Anyone with information on suspected child sexual exploitation can contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 800-843-5678, or


Barry L. Paschal, Public Affairs Officer: 912-652-4422

Updated April 14, 2023

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 33-23