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Press Release

Former Burlington, Washington, resident sentenced to 20 years in prison for production of images of child sexual abuse

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington
Sexually molested child who was approximately six years old

Seattle – A 44-year-old resident of Dayton, Nevada, who previously resided in Burlington, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 20 years in prison for production of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. Between 2014 and 2020, John Holcomb made sexually explicit videos of a young child left in his care. At the sentencing hearing U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik remanded Holcomb to custody saying, “These were serious and violent offenses…. One of the most reprehensible cases the court has seen.”

“No sentence can relieve the trauma suffered by the young victim in this case,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. “The court recognized a key issue of concern for prosecutors in this case, that the community and other children be protected.”

According to records filed in the case, in 2020, law enforcement in Skagit County was investigating Holcomb for an unrelated criminal allegation. As part of that investigation, law enforcement served a court authorized search warrant on Holcomb allowing them to seize his electronic devices. The forensic examination revealed videos depicting child sexual abuse. Law enforcement then sought a new search warrant from a Skagit County Superior Court judge to further review the devices for images of child sexual abuse.

The forensic examination revealed three videos of Holcomb sexually abusing a child who was about 6 or 7 years old. 

Holcomb will register as a sex offender following his release from prison and he will be on federal supervision for the rest of his life.

The case was investigated by the FBI, the Burlington Police Department, the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office, the Mt. Vernon Police Department, and the Oak Harbor Police Department.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Hampton and Special Assistant United States Attorney Laura Harmon. Ms. Harmon is a Senior Deputy King County Prosecutor who is specially designated to prosecute child exploitation crimes in federal court.  Appellate Attorneys Teal Miller and Jonas Lerman added critical assistance to the prosecution of this case. 


Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or

Updated March 16, 2023

Project Safe Childhood
Violent Crime