(STL.News) – A man who previously resided in Leesburg pleaded guilty yesterday to downloading images of child sexual abuse over the internet.
According to court documents, Jason E. Holmes, 49, of Martinsburg, West Virginia, is a design professional who previously resided in Leesburg prior to moving to West Virginia. Holmes admitted that from October 2016 to April 2018 he intentionally searched for, downloaded, and occasionally paid for access to images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of children. Holmes engaged in this conduct, and discussed these images and videos with others, using the dark web, peer-to-peer software, and password-protected websites on the open internet.
Law enforcement discovered tens of thousands of images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of children across 13 different electronic devices seized from his home, as well as evidence that Holmes used encryption technology on these devices. Additionally, during the search law enforcement recovered enlarged, printed-out images of child pornography that Holmes admitted to posting to foamboard cutouts and placing around his home.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form.
Holmes pleaded guilty to receipt of child pornography, and faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison when sentenced on October 27. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
This 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 U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the 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.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Raymond Villanueva, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C., made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Rossie D. Alston, Jr. accepted the plea. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney William G. Clayman is prosecuting the case. Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Fong assisted with the prosecution.