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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 17, 2018

Repeat Offender Sentenced To 15 Years For Child Pornography

Defendant Reoffended while on Supervised Release for Federal Child Pornography Conviction

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger yesterday sentenced a repeat offender to 15 years in prison for receipt of child pornography, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.  Nathaniel Guru Thompson, 31, of Asheville, was also ordered to serve a lifetime of supervised release and to register as a sex offender after he is released from prison.

“Thompson is the type of criminal that needs to be removed from society and put into a prison cell, where he can no longer harm children,” said U.S. Attorney Murray.  “There is a misconception among some that viewing child pornography is a lesser offense.  Let me set the record straight: viewing, sharing, or receiving images that depict children being sexually abused is a crime that is just as serious and heinous as of those who perpetrate the depicted sexual abuse on the children.  I commend the Asheville Police Department, the North Carolina Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, and the U.S. Probation Office for joining us in our efforts to protect the most vulnerable members of our society and bring perpetrators like Thompson to justice.”

According to court documents and information introduced at the sentencing hearing, Thompson was convicted in 2011 in the Western District of North Carolina of possession of child pornography.  As part of his sentence, the Court ordered Thompson to serve a lifetime of federal supervised release.  On July 10, 2017, law enforcement located at Thompson’s residence an internet enabled cell phone, which was in violation of the terms of his supervised release. After conducting a full forensic analysis of Thompson’s cell phone and a removable storage card, law enforcement determined that Thompson possessed more than 1,380 images of child pornography, and over 72 child pornography videos.  Court records show that the images and videos, which Thompson had intentionally downloaded between May 1, and July 10, 2017, depicted infants, prepubescent children, and sadistic and masochistic conduct.  Court records further show that Thompson had regularly viewed the images and the videos, as recently as July 10, 2017, which is the date the device was seized by law enforcement.

Thompson pleaded guilty to receipt of child pornography in March 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 Asheville Police Department conducted the investigation.  In making today’s announcement U.S. Attorney Murray thanks the U.S. Probation Office and the North Carolina Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force for their invaluable assistance with the case.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville was in charge of the prosecution.

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. 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.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated August 17, 2018