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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 13, 2019

Sex Offender Is Sentenced To 30 Years

CHARLOTTE, N.C. –U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad Jr. sentenced today April Nicole Pitchford, 31, of Mint Hill, N.C., to 30 years in prison, followed by 30 years of supervised release for producing child pornography, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Pitchford was also ordered to register as a sex offender after she is released from prison. 

According to filed court documents and today’s sentencing hearing, between October 18 and October 19, 2016, Pitchford sexually abused a four-year-old victim. Court records show that Pitchford created a video depicting sexually explicit conduct with the minor, and sent it via text message to another individual.

On November 27, 2018, Pitchford pleaded guilty to production of child pornography. She 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 sentencings are served without the possibility of parole. 

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Murray thanked ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, and the Mint Hill Police Department for investigating this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cortney Randall 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. 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 December 13, 2019