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Press Release

Lynchburg Man Sentenced on Child Pornography Charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia
Gary Williamson to Serve 120 Months

LYNCHBURG, VIRGINIA – A former Colonel with the Virginia National Guard, who pled guilty in July to a federal child pornography charge, was sentenced today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Lynchburg.

Gary Williamson, 54, of Lynchburg, Va., previously waived his right to be indicted and pled guilty to a one-count Information charging him with knowingly receiving and distributing child pornography. This morning in District Court, Williamson was sentenced to 120 months of federal incarceration. The defendant was also ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution and will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison.

“It is a sad day for all when we learn that a man like Mr. Williamson, who has had a distinguished military service career, has engaged in serious violations of federal criminal law by possessing and distributing child pornography,” United States Attorney Anthony P. Giorno said today. “Crimes like those committed by Mr. Williamson have the effect of re-victimizing the children in these images, and those who engage in such conduct will be held accountable in a court of law.”

"Every time a person shares an image of child pornography, the subject of that image is victimized all over again,” said Clark E. Settles, special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C., which oversees HSI Roanoke. “Let this sentence serve as a warning to other child predators who trade images of child pornography. You cannot hide behind your computer. We will find you, investigate you, and ensure you are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

According to evidence presented at the defendant’s guilty plea hearing by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel Bubar, the Roanoke office of Homeland Security Investigations became aware of Williamson’s distribution of child pornography on October 14, 2014, through information gathered during an unrelated investigation of a website located outside the United States.  In December 2014, Williamson was interviewed at his home and a search warrant was executed for various computers and media storage devices. During this search, Williamson admitted to controlling an email account and a username for the subject website that have been used to trade suspected child pornography.  Subsequent forensic analysis of the defendant’s computer and other media storage devices showed he possessed more than 2,000 images of child pornography, many of which he distributed via the subject website bulletin boards and email.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the HSI Roanoke Office, the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office, the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Virginia Attorney General’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorney Daniel Bubar is prosecuting the case for the United States.

Updated November 2, 2015

Project Safe Childhood