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Jacksonville Man Sentenced to More Than Five Years in Federal Prison on Extortion and Child Pornography Charges

U.S. Attorney’s Office November 29, 2012
  • Middle District of Florida (904) 301-6300

JACKSONVILLE, FL—U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan today sentenced Joshua Jay Williamson (24, Jacksonville) to five-and-a-half years (66 months) in federal prison and a 10-year term of supervised release for making extortionate threats over the Internet and possessing images and videos of child pornography. Williamson was also ordered to register as a sex offender and forfeit his computer media.

According to court documents, from February 2011 through June 7, 2011, Williamson repeatedly used a computer and interactive computer services to transmit threatening communications to several female individuals over the Internet. He transmitted these threatening communications with the intent to extort sexually explicit photographic images from these female victims. Williamson compromised the e-mail and social networking accounts of female victims in an effort to gather personal information about them, including sexually suggestive and provocative photographs. He sent e-mail or other electronic communications to the victims, demanding they send him nude and sexually explicit photographic images. Williamson would inform the victim that if she did not comply with his demand, he would send sexually suggestive and provocative pictures to her friends on her e-mail contact and mailing lists.

Williamson hacked into the e-mail accounts and social networking sites of dozens of adult females. In doing so, he was able to access and obtain photographs of some of the victims. On May 19, 2011, Williamson sent extortionate e-mails to approximately 75 other female individuals requesting that the victims send him “full nude photos” or risk having pictures sent to the victim’s e-mail and Facebook contacts. Williamson used several Internet protocol (IP) addresses to access the Internet and send out the extortionate e-mails. He used an anonymizer program in an unsuccessful effort to conceal his identity. A forensic analysis of Williamson’s computer revealed folders titled in the names of nearly 150 different women. Many of the folders contained photographs of the women, as well as their personal information. Approximately 23 images and 31 videos of child pornography were also found on his computer.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys D. Rodney Brown and Diidri W. Robinson.

It is another case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “Resources.”

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