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Press Release

Hardin County Man Sentenced to 40 Years in Federal Prison for Child Pornography Offenses

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

Louisville, KY – A Hardin County man was sentenced today to 40 years in prison for child pornography offenses.

U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett of the Western District of Kentucky and Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen of the FBI Louisville Field Office made the announcement.

According to court documents, in Hardin County Kentucky, Michael Smith, 30, produced videos of his sexual abuse of a minor victim, and uploaded images and videos of child pornography to a cloud-based storage application via the internet. Smith was sentenced to 40 years in prison, followed by a 20-term of supervised release, for producing, transporting, and possessing child pornography. There is no parole in the federal system.

In addition to the 40-year prison sentence, Smith was ordered to pay restitution to victims in the amount of $6,000. 

“I commend the FBI and LMPD for their investigation of this case as well as AUSA McKiness for his work prosecuting Smith,” said U.S. Attorney Bennett. “The sexual exploitation of children in the Western District is a top priority of this office. We will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute those who harm our children.”

The case was investigated by the FBI with assistance from the Louisville Metro Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Spencer McKiness prosecuted the case.

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 July 25, 2023