Former Oldham County EMS Worker Sentenced To 30 Years In Prison For Violating Federal Child Exploitation Laws
Sentence to be served consecutively to 17-year state court sentence for sodomy and incest
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Senior United States District Judge Thomas B. Russell sentenced Richard Wayne Johnson, 39, to 30 years in prison followed by a life term of Supervised Release, announced United States Attorney Russell M. Coleman. There is no parole in the federal system. Johnson remains in the custody of the United States Marshals Service.
Johnson previously admitted to advertising, distributing and possessing child pornography. Under federal law, child pornography includes any images or videos that depict someone under the age of 18 engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
According to the plea agreement and other court records, law enforcement officials initially became aware of Johnson’s conduct as the result of Cybertips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The online service provider, America Online (AOL) reported that one of their users was transferring child pornography by email. The email account traced back to Johnson. In the message, Johnson noted that he had “pics/videos to trade” and claimed to be rebuilding his child pornography collection because the laptop had been destroyed. Johnson attached a video of child pornography and asked for materials in return. The video included several clips involving three different female children under the age of six. The girls were being sexually abused by adult men.
Separate from the Cybertips, on September 13, 2013, the Kentucky State Police received a complaint from the Oldham County EMS. A KSP Detective spoke with the Executive Director of Oldham County EMS and learned that the Executive Director wanted to file a complaint regarding the suspicious behavior of an employee, Johnson. According to the complaint, Johnson had recently signed up for an EMT refresher course. As part of signing up for that course, Johnson provided an email address that was unusual and raised concerns among higher ranking EMS supervisors. Supervisors searched the email address using Google and found it was linked to several sites that appeared to be dedicated to incest and sex with children. Law enforcement officials also discovered Johnson’s use of the email for trading child pornography. During the investigation into one such account, the Detective received the message: "Yes I trade young. You send first," from Johnson.
While executing a state Search Warrant on Johnson’s home, Kentucky State Police Detectives discovered evidence suggesting Johnson’s actual sexual abuse of a child. The Commonwealth’s Attorney for Oldham County prosecuted Johnson for the crimes of incest and sodomy of a child. That prosecution resulted in a 17-year sentence of imprisonment. The federal sentence will be served after Johnson completes the state sentence.
The search of Johnson’s residence also resulted in the seizure of digital devices. Forensic review of the devices showed the presence of thousands of files depicting the sexual abuse of children. He had several labeled files where he stored the child pornography images.
Assistant United States Attorney Jo E. Lawless prosecuted the case with assistance from the Oldham County Commonwealth’s Attorney Courtney T. Baxter. The Kentucky State Police conducted the investigation.
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 www.usdoj.gov/psc For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."