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Press Release

Edmund Thornton Sentenced for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender

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

Burlington, Vermont – The United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Edmund Thornton, 66, who until recently lived in East Calais, Vermont was sentenced yesterday in United States District Court in Burlington following his guilty plea to a charge that he failed to register as a sex offender after moving to Vermont. Senior U.S. District Judge William K. Sessions III sentenced Thornton to time served, to be followed by five years of supervised release. Before being released on conditions this past May, Thornton had been incarcerated for more than six months following his arrest in late October 2022.

According to court records, on October 27, 2022, a federal grand jury in Vermont returned a one count indictment alleging that Thornton violated the Sex Offender Registration And Notification Act (SORNA). Thornton was arrested in Pennsylvania on the charge on October 31 and was then transferred to the custody of U.S. Marshals in Vermont.

Records indicate that in 1999, Thornton pleaded guilty in Pennsylvania to charges that included attempted deviate sexual intercourse with a ten-year-old girl. Thornton served several years in prison. Under Pennsylvania law, Thornton was required to register in that state as a convicted sex offender upon his release from custody. The federal Sex Offender Registration And Notification Act also required Thornton to promptly register with authorities in any state to which he moved. According to the indictment, Thornton moved to Vermont in about June 2020 but failed to register with authorities here, as required by SORNA.

Thornton is represented by Assistant Federal Defender Barclay Johnson. The prosecutor is Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Waples.

This case was investigated by the United States Marshals Service.

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 Department of Justice. Led by U.S.  Attorneys’ Offices and Child Exploitation Obscenity Section, Criminal Division (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


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Updated November 21, 2023

Project Safe Childhood