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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Kentucky

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Todd County, Kentucky, Man Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison For Coercing Minors To Engage In Sexually Explicit Conduct And Receiving Child Pornography

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – A Todd County, Kentucky man was sentenced today in U.S. District Court by Judge Greg Stivers to 20 years in prison, to be followed by a 20-year term of supervised release, for persuading, inducing and coercing two minor females to engage in sexually explicit conduct and for receiving child pornography, announced Acting U.S. Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr.

“The predatory conduct of Williams was despicable,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney John Kuhn.  “The coercion of these girls for his own gratification was not a harmless, inconsequential act to these victims.  That he put the child of one of his friends through this is almost unimaginable. This case is a sad but powerful reminder that every parent everywhere must be vigilant against sexual predation, especially in the virtual world.  This lengthy sentence is well deserved.”

“This type of crime is especially egregious since he coerced several underage girls, by producing and trading sexually explicit images of them on the internet,” said Howard S. Marshall, Special Agent in Charge, FBI,  Louisville Field Division. “These predators exploit the innocence of our children and this sentence should send a message that these acts will not be tolerated.”

Jesse Sanford Williams, age 34, pleaded guilty to all charges of the federal indictment on October 20, 2014. Williams was arrested on March 7, 2014, by federal agents in Kentucky, following an investigation that began in the state of Washington on March 28, 2013.  In court, Williams admitted to blackmailing, by threat, at least two minor, teen girls, in order to receive sexually explicit images of them, by means of multiple Gmail and Yahoo internet accounts. Only two of the victims could be identified by authorities.  After receiving initial images from the girls, Williams demanded additional sexually explicit images or videos and coerced the girls by threatening to post the initial images on the internet or send them to the girls’ parents.  These activities took place between June 2011 and March 2013.

Victim-1 lived in Washington, and was 13 years of age at the onset of the Internet threats.  Victim-1 appeared in court today and testified during sentencing. At one point during the time Williams coerced Victim-1, she attempted suicide.

Victim-2 lived in Todd County, and was approximately the same age as Victim-1.  According to testimony offered in court today, Williams had very long and close personal relationships with the family of Victim-2, and was known by Victim-2 as “Uncle Jesse.”  In his internet communications with both victims, Williams concealed his age and identity from the victims, pretending to be a much younger boy.

During the investigation, a subpoena of email accounts determined all email accounts shared the same Internet Protocol (IP) address from an account located at Logan Aluminum, a large manufacturing facility located near Russellville, Kentucky. The FBI was able to identify Williams from shift schedules, IP login times and other materials obtained in the investigation. Further, Williams admitted to knowingly receiving child pornography between June 2011 and March 2013.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Marisa Ford and is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Louisville and Seattle Divisions and police in Washington State.

Updated February 4, 2015