Local Police Reports

Hogsett Announces Sentencing of Virginia Man for Receiving Child Pornography Involving Indiana Minor

INDIANAPOLIS-(ENEWSPF)- United States Attorney Joseph H. Hogsett announced today that Jimmy Lee Cook, 42, of Lynchburg, Virginia, was sentenced to 160 months of imprisonment for receiving child pornography involving a young Indiana girl. This followed an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Indiana and Virginia, the Kokomo Police Department, the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and the Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

During a guilty plea and sentencing hearing today, Cook admitted that in 2010, between January and July, he used a computer to receive through the Internet child pornography videos of a young girl in Indiana engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Cook used Internet chat rooms to entice the victim to engage in the conduct.

The investigation began when the Kokomo Police Department received a cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The tip, which resulted from information provided by a video-sharing website, led to the identification of the Indiana victim. The Kokomo Police Department then jointly worked the investigation with the FBI in Indiana, along with help from its state and local law enforcement partners in the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Working with Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children and the FBI both here and in Virginia, the investigators executed a federal search warrant at Cook’s tent in Lynchburg, Virginia. He was homeless and living in the parking lot of a church, and had been using open wireless connections at local restaurants and a library. Cook was arrested without incident at that time.

During the search of Cook’s tent, the investigators found numerous images and videos of child pornography, many of which involved very young minors. Lt. Donald Whitehead of Kokomo Police Department, who is also a task force officer with the FBI, obtained a confession from Cook following the search. Cook admitted that he knew one of the minor victims was a young girl living in Indiana and he admitted to enticing her to produce the videos.

In explaining the sentence, U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson stated that a high sentence was appropriate to deter others from engaging in such conduct and to protect the public from future crimes by Cook. The court emphasized that the criminal conduct involved repeated communications with a preteen girl and the encouragement of the sexual exploitation.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven D. DeBrota, who prosecuted the case for the government, Cook was sentenced to 160 months of imprisonment, to be followed by supervised release for the remainder of his life. He was ordered to forfeit all of his computer equipment.

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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.