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Press Release

Convicted Sex Offender Residing In Allen County, Kentucky, Sentenced To 15 Years In Prison For Possession Of Child Pornography

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

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – A previously convicted sex offender, living in Allen County, Kentucky was sentenced to 15 years in prison followed by a life term of Supervised Release, on Thursday, May 1, 2014, by Senior District Judge Thomas B. Russell, for violating federal child pornography laws, announced David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky. There is no parole in the federal system.

Gerald Burnham, age 73, of Adolphus, Kentucky, had previously pleaded guilty to a two-count Indictment that charged him with receiving child pornography, by way of the United States Postal Service and the Internet. The Indictment also charged him with possession of child pornography. Burnham admitted to ordering the child pornography, through a website, from a company located outside the United States and to downloading images of child pornography from the Internet.

Burnham admitted to placing orders and making purchases of DVDs from the International Company on 12 occasions between November 3, 2010, and March 4, 2011. Those orders included 20 separate video titles from the company’s website. Burnham spent at total of $510.50 in United States currency for the DVDs. Burnham was identified as a customer through an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and a foreign law enforcement agency.

Law enforcement officials executed a federal Search Warrant on Burnham’s home in Kentucky on May 2, 2013. Among the items located and seized pursuant to the Warrant were a desktop computer, DVDs (the ones ordered from the international company), framed photographs of nude boys, photo albums and a binder containing sexually explicit photos of male and female children, miscellaneous nudist books and erotic writings belonging to Burnham.

Information from the Kentucky State Police Sex Offender Registry website showed that Burnham was a lifetime sex offender registrant. At the time of his arrest on the federal charges, Burnham was compliant with his sex offender registration requirement. The underlying conviction arose in Maine for unlawful sexual contact with a minor, possession of sexually explicit material, and sexual abuse of a minor. Burnham sexually abused a child in Maine for eight years, beginning when the child was only eight years old.

Assistant United States Attorney Jo E. Lawless prosecuted the case. The United States Postal Inspection Service led the investigation. The Allen County Sheriff’s Department assisted with execution of the Search Warrant.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources."

Updated December 15, 2014