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Press Release

Federal Judge Sentences Monroe, N.C. Man To 20 Years For Receipt And Possession Of Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina
The Defendant also Sexually Abused A Minor over a Five-Year Period

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad handed down a 20-year prison term today to Joseph Craig Rabon, 37, of Monroe, N.C., for possession and receipt of child pornography, announced William T. Stetzer, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Rabon will also have to serve 30 years under supervised release and register as a sex offender after his term of incarceration.

Robert R. Wells, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, joins Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer in making today’s announcement.

According to court filings, plea documents and statements made in court at today’s sentencing hearing, in August 2016, the FBI became aware that Rabon was using the internet to download child pornography. Court records show that Rabon used peer to peer software to access images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of children, including images portraying sadistic conduct and children under the age of 12. A forensic analysis of Rabon’s seized electronic devices revealed that he possessed more than 30 images and videos of child pornography.

Rabon was indicted by a federal grand jury in November 2018 and was subsequently released on bond. Court records show that, while on pretrial release, Rabon attempted to access and view pornography on the internet multiple times in violation of the Court’s terms and conditions of release. Court records also show that, after Rabon was taken into custody following his guilty plea, a minor victim came forward to report sexual abuse by Rabon over a five year period, which resulted in Rabon’s enhanced term of imprisonment today.

Rabon is currently in custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. 

In making today’s announcement, Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer thanked the FBI for their investigation of this case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alfredo De La Rosa, 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 launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice, aimed at combating the growing online sexual exploitation of children.  By combining resources, federal, state and local agencies are better able to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue those victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated May 12, 2021

Project Safe Childhood