Winchester Man Sentenced on Child Pornography Production Charges
Harrisonburg, VIRGINIA – A Winchester man, who filmed himself sexually exploiting two minor children, was sentenced today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Harrisonburg, Acting United States Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle announced.
LaMarcus Thomas, 33, of Winchester, Va., was sentenced today to 360 months in federal prison. Thomas previously pled guilty to two counts of production of child pornography.
According to evidence presented at previous hearings, in the fall of 2014, the Winchester Police Department began an investigation into a complaint that two children had been molested by Thomas. When the defendant was arrested on state sex crime allegations for acts against the two children, the Winchester Police Department recovered a cellphone that belonged to Thomas.
Examination of the cell phone revealed numerous images and movies of child pornography depicting two different minor boys. It appeared the two victims were likely sleeping during the production of the images and movies, which showed various images of the penis and hands of the defendant and the penis of one of the minor boys. Thomas admitted producing the child pornography and identified himself and the two minors depicted in the images in the videos. The investigation determined that Thomas spent significant time with the two minors depicted in the videos, including spending overnight visits with the victims.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Virginia State Police and the Winchester Police Department. Virginia State Police conducted the initial forensic examination of the cellphone. Assistant United States Attorney Nancy S. Healey and Criminal Division Trial Attorney Leslie Williams Fisher of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) prosecuted the case for the United States.
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 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.