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Press Release

Former Elementary School Music Teacher Is Sentenced To More Than 10 Years For Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Today, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad, Jr. sentenced a former elementary school music teacher to 121 months in prison for possession and transportation of child pornography, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.  In addition to the prison term imposed, Judge Conrad ordered Benjamin McMiller, 33, of Charlotte, to serve a lifetime of supervised release and to register as a sex offender after he is released from prison.

Chief Kerr Putney of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department joins U.S. Attorney Murray in making today’s announcement.

Filed court documents show that on September 20, 2016, McMiller streamed child pornography to another person using Omegle.com (Omegle), a free website where users can video or text chat.  According to court records, the child pornography McMiller streamed via Omegle depicted a minor female engaging in sexually explicit conduct with an adult male.  Law enforcement identified McMiller’s IP address as the one used to access the website.  On November 8, 2016, law enforcement conducted a search of McMiller’s residence and recovered multiple electronic devices, including McMiller’s computer, a USB drive, and an external hard drive, which the defendant initially denied possessing.  A forensic examination of McMiller’s devices revealed that the defendant possessed 88 images and 54 videos of child pornography, some of which depicted prepubescent children being sexually abused.

McMiller pleaded guilty to possession and transpiration of child pornography in February 2018.  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 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department investigated the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Cortney Randall, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, was in charge of the prosecution.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat t4he growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ 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 September 10, 2018

Topic
Project Safe Childhood