Newton man sentenced in Statesville courtroom for child porn charges

WSIC File Photo

PRESS RELEASE

STATESVLLE, N.C. – Nathan Matthew Jennings-Townsend, 25, of Newton, N.C. was sentenced late yesterday by U.S. District Judge Richard L. Voorhees to 240 months in prison on child pornography charges, announced Jill Westmoreland Rose, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Jennings-Townsend was also ordered to serve a lifetime of supervised release and to register as a sex offender.

Nick Annan, Special Agent in Charge of ICE/Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Georgia and the Carolinas and Robert Schurmeier, Director of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation join U.S. Attorney Rose in making today’s announcement.

“Jennings-Townsend used his computer savviness in the worst possible way: to trade in child pornography and to exploit and victimize innocent children. Hiding behind the screen of a computer to violate children in no way shields an offender. This case demonstrates that law enforcement is very effective in identifying offenders and collecting evidence so that we may prosecute and imprison those engaged in such repugnant behavior” said U.S. Attorney Rose.

According to court documents and information introduced at the sentencing hearing, law enforcement became aware that an individual in the United States, later identified as Jennings- Townsend, was using a foreign based photo file sharing website to view child pornography and to solicit others to trade child pornography. In June 2014, law enforcement seized Jennings- Townsend electronic devices, including a computer and a cellphone. According to court records, forensic analyses of those devices revealed that Jennings-Townsend possessed images and videos of child pornography, some of which depicted prepubescent minors engaging in sadistic and masochistic or other violent conduct.

Jennings-Townsend pleaded guilty in January 2017 to one count of transportation of child pornography. Jennings-Townsend also has a previous statutory rape conviction in North Carolina. He is currently in custody and will be transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.

U.S. Attorney Rose thanked HSI and SBI for their investigation of this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cortney Randall, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice, aimed at combating the growing online sexual exploitation of children. By combining resources, federal, state and local agencies are better able to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue those victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov

This press release appears as received from the US Attorney’s Office for Western NC with the exception of  page/text/space/paragraph/general formatting details.  Picture placement also excluded.  All pictures included with original release may not be shown here. Separate reports contained within the same press release may have also been removed. Additionally, the different pieces of the press release may have been re-arranged.  This press release was posted at WSICfm.com after being received from the agency listed. Article title and picture captions may, or may not be, part of the press release.  This information does, however, reflect the information received from the US Attorney’s Office for Western NC.

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