U.S. Attorney’s Office and FBI Seeking to Identify Potential Victims in Connection with Online Child Exploitation Case
LAFAYETTE, La. – A federal jury in Lafayette returned a guilty verdict today against William Malone, 45, of Mobile, Alabama, on child pornography charges, Acting United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced.
On October 7, 2020, a federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment charging Malone with five counts of production of child pornography, one count of use of a facility to cause a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity, one count of receipt of child pornography, and one count of possession of child pornography.
According to evidence presented during the two-day trial in the Western District of Louisiana, Malone lived in Mobile, Alabama and worked as the captain of a maritime vessel that traveled out of Abbeville in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana. An investigation was begun in March 2020 by law enforcement officers with the Mobile Police Department and Child Advocacy Center after they received complaints that Malone had sexually abused a female under the age of 12 years old. The minor victim’s mother reported the allegations after learning from her daughter that Malone had been sexually abusing her.
Law enforcement agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted a forensic examination of the minor victim’s cell phone and found evidence that Malone had texted the minor victim and asked her to send him pictures and videos of herself naked and other sexually explicit images of herself. Agents also executed a search warrant onboard the vessel where Malone was working, for his laptop computer and cell phone. During a review of Malone’s laptop computer and cell phone, agents found the sexually explicit images that the minor victim had told law enforcement officers she sent to Malone at his request. Malone was subsequently arrested and charged.
Malone faces a sentence of up to 160 years plus life in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000.
The FBI and Mobile, Alabama Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys J. Luke Walker and Craig R. Bordelon prosecuted the case.
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