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Press Release

Louisville Man Sentenced to 24 Years in Federal Prison for Producing and Distributing Child Pornography

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

Louisville, KY – A Louisville man was sentenced yesterday to 24 years in prison followed by a lifetime term of supervised release for producing and distributing child pornography and for transferring obscene material to a minor. There is no parole in the federal system.

U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett of the Western District of Kentucky, Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen of the FBI Louisville Field Office, and Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel of the Louisville Metro Police Department made the announcement.

According to court documents, Patrick Appleton, 25, used a social media application to communicate with a 15-year-old girl for the purposes of engaging in sexual contact. Appleton recorded those sexual acts, and distributed those videos, as well as other videos of obscene material, including bestiality, to the girl.   

In addition to the 24-year prison sentence, Appleton was ordered to pay restitution to the victim in the amount of $3,000.  

“I appreciate the exceptional work of the FBI, LMPD, and AUSA McKiness,” stated U.S. Attorney Bennett. “Protecting the children of the Western District from predators like the defendant is a top priority of this office. We remain vigilant and will continue to investigate and aggressively prosecute those who seek to sexually exploit our children.”

“Predators, like Appleton, are appalling and have no place in civilized society,” said FBI Louisville Special Agent in Charge Cohen. “Appleton’s sentence highlights the egregious nature of his conduct and serves as an example that the FBI and our law enforcement partners are committed to protecting our most innocent and helpless victims.”    

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and 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 February 17, 2023