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STATESVILLE, N.C. – On Monday, January 5, 2014, U.S. District Judge Richard L. Voorhees sentenced Forest Skidmore, Jr., 48, of Statesville, N.C. to 120 months in prison on child pornography charges, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. In addition to the prison term, Skidmore was ordered to register as a sex offender and to serve the rest of his life under court supervision after his release from prison.
U.S. Attorney Tompkins is joined in making today’s announcement by John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Charlotte Division and Chief Thomas A. Anderson of the Statesville Police Department.
Skidmore pleaded guilty in July 2014 to one count of possession of child pornography. According to filed documents and statements made in court, from on or about March 2012 to on or about May 2012, law enforcement became aware of Skidmore’s collection of child pornography, which he was downloading from and sharing over the Internet. Court records indicate that law enforcement executed a search warrant at Skidmore’s home and seized his computer. A forensic examination of Skidmore’s computer revealed that he possessed 166 images and 61 videos of children being sexually abused, including images of child pornography victims under the age of five. Court records show that the child pornography in Skidmore’s possession included at least 23 different children already identified by law enforcement as victims of child pornography.
Skidmore has been in custody since entering his guilty plea and will report to the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.
The investigation was handled by the FBI and the Statesville Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cortney S. Randall and David A. Thorneloe 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