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GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – Gary William Hampton, 63, of Grand Rapids, was sentenced to 23 years in federal prison for producing and possessing child pornography. Hampton’s house, where the abuse occurred, was forfeited as a result of the conviction. U.S. Chief District Judge Paul L. Maloney explained, “The offense conduct in this case is horrendous. Aggravating factors include extortion of the young person and supplying him with controlled substances. I am also very concerned with the defendant’s statements to his friend that there was no victim here.” The prison term will be followed by 10 years of supervised release.
U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Miles, Jr. commended the lengthy sentence stating, “Protecting children from sexual exploitation is a high priority for this U.S. Attorney’s office. The sentence and the forfeiture of the defendant’s house should send a deterrence message to others who might consider creating the supply and the demand for child pornography offenses. If you commit a child pornography offense inside your home, you risk losing your home as part of the sentence.”
The case came to the attention of law enforcement when the victim reported that he was sexually abused by Hampton from 2003 to 2007, when the victim was 13 to 17 years old. Hampton gave money and illegal drugs to the boy in exchange for sex, and Hampton threatened the victim to keep it a secret. Police located sexually explicit photographs of the victim posing in Hampton’s house and engaging in various sex acts. Hampton pled no contest in federal court to a two-count indictment charging Production and Possession of Child Pornography.
As part of a coordinated investigation and prosecution, the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office pursued prosecution in state court for the underlying sexual abuse of the minor. On August 15, 2013, Hampton pled guilty in the 17th Circuit Court in Grand Rapids, MI, to one count of Criminal Sexual Conduct – First Degree and was sentenced to 10-15 years in jail. The federal and state sentences will run concurrently.
This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. The U.S. Attorney's Office, county prosecutor's offices, the Internet Crimes Against Children task force (ICAC), federal, state, and local law enforcement are working closely together to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children. The partners in Project Safe Childhood work to educate local communities about the dangers of online child exploitation and to teach children how to protect themselves. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit the following web site: www.projectsafechildhood.gov. Individuals with information or concerns about possible child exploitation should contact local law enforcement officials.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Grand Rapids Police Department (GRPD) investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tessa K. Hessmiller prosecuted the case.