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Justice News

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

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Winchester Man Sentenced On Sex Charges

James Cobler Sentenced To 120 Years In Federal Prison

HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA -- A 28-year-old Winchester man who pled guilty in October 2012 was sentenced this morning in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Harrisonburg to child exploitation and child pornography charges.

James Cobler, 28, of Winchester, Va., previously pleaded guilty to three counts of sexually exploiting a 4-year-old boy for the purpose of producing child pornography, one count of transporting child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography.

This morning in District Court, Cobler was sentenced to 120 years of Federal incarceration.

“Mr. Cobler’s sexual abuse targeted a completely vulnerable victim, a 4-year old boy.” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “When predators like Mr. Cobler exploit children, we will target them with every available resource and ensure they are held accountable.”

According to evidence presented at previous hearings by Assistant United States Attorney Nancy Healey and Special Assistant United States Attorney Shannon Wright, an investigator with the Page County Sheriff’s Office, working in an undercover capacity on a peer-to-peer file sharing network, downloaded several child pornography images from Cobler in April 2012.

A subsequent search warrant was issued and executed at Cobler’s Winchester home. While conducting the search, Cobler admitted to downloading child pornography and further admitted that on multiple occasions, he had molested a 4-year-old boy whom he occasionally cared for. He also admitted to taking pictures and a video of the sexual abuse.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Frederick and Page County Sheriff’s Offices and the Northern Virginia-D.C. Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The United States Secret Service conducted the forensic exam. Assistant United States Attorney Nancy Healey and Special Assistant United States Attorney Shannon Wright are prosecuting 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 United States 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

Updated April 15, 2015