(STL.News) – A convicted child molester is going to federal prison after being sentenced for possession of child pornography.
Claude Martin Johnson IV, 22, of Augusta, was sentenced to 10 years in prison by U.S. District Court Chief Judge J. Randal Hall after pleading guilty to one count of Possession of Child Pornography, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. Johnson also is required to pay $3,000 in restitution to one victim, and after completion of the prison term, Johnson will be required to serve 20 years of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.
“We in the Southern District do not tolerate those who exploit the most vulnerable among us,” said U.S. Attorney Christine. “Claude Johnson, previously convicted in state court of child molestation, has now earned a decade in federal prison.”
According to court documents and testimony, Johnson was sentenced in 2015 to seven years of probation after a state court conviction for child molestation. On May 1, 2019, officers from the Georgia Department of Community Supervision conducted a search at Johnson’s home in accordance with the conditions of his probation. During the search, the officers found multiple images of child pornography on two cell phones belonging to Johnson, and took him into custody for violation of his probation.
“This sentence should send a clear message to anyone who would try to take advantage of innocent children,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Johnson’s 10 years in prison will give him plenty of time to think about his unacceptable behavior. But more importantly, while in prison, he won’t be able to do harm to any more children.”
The case was investigated by the FBI, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia Department of Community Supervision, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S Attorney Tara Lyons.