(STL.News) – The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Tony Cuthbertson, 50, of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, was sentenced on December 4, 2019, in United States District Court in Rutland, Vermont, to serve 96 months in prison after his guilty plea to one count of knowingly producing with intent to distribute child pornography that is an adapted or morphed depiction of an identifiable minor. Chief U.S. District Judge Geoffrey W. Crawford also ordered Cuthbertson to serve a ten (10) year term of supervised release, and to pay a $100 special assessment.
According to court records and proceedings, in September and October of 2017, Cuthbertson uploaded images to multiple Chatstep chat rooms. Chatstep is a website on the Internet that makes online chat rooms available to users. Cuthbertson uploaded these images knowing that they would be available to other Chatstep users. Cuthbertson produced these images by cropping images that depicted identifiable minors such that various aspects of the images were highlighted and the child appeared to be engaged in sexually explicit conduct. These images depicted child pornography and Cuthbertson produced them with the intention of distributing them.
United States Attorney Christina E. Nolan commended the efforts of the Lebanon, New Hampshire Police Department, the Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and Homeland Security Investigations in the investigation and prosecution of Cuthbertson. Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara A. Masterson handled the prosecution of Cuthbertson. Assistant Federal Public Defender Steven L. Barth represented Cuthbertson.
U.S. Attorney Nolan noted that this prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice=s Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.