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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Federal Judge Sentences Huntersville, N.C. Doctor To More Than Eight Years For Child Pornography

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr., sentenced David Michael Shope, 43, of Huntersville, N.C., to 105 months in prison for possession of child pornography, announced R. Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.  Shope, who is an Oncologist, was also ordered to serve a 15 years under court supervision and to register as a sex offender after he is released from prison.

John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Chief Kerr Putney of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) join U.S. Attorney Murray in making today’s announcement.

According to court documents and information introduced at the sentencing hearing, in February 2015 and in September 2015, Shope used peer-to-peer software to transport to an undercover CMPD detective multiple videos that depicted the sexual abuse of children.  According to court records, on September 30, 2015, law enforcement conducted a search of Shope’s residence in Huntersville, seizing multiple electronic devices and an external hard drive. A forensic examination of the seized items revealed that Shope possessed multiple videos containing child pornography, some of which depicted sadomasochistic conduct.  Several videos also involved children under 12. 

According to court records, law enforcement also found, on one of Shopes’ laptops, chats from a public chat room.  The various chats involved Shope posing as a female with a younger daughter who was sexually interested in other females with younger daughters.  Some of the chats included Shope requesting photographs of the other females and their daughters.

Shope pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography in July 2017. He is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.  All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole. 

The FBI and CMPD led the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimlani Ford of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Updated March 28, 2018