NEWNAN, Ga. - Charles Carroll has been sentenced to 12 years, six months in prison after a jury found him guilty of distributing and possessing child pornography through his use of a peer-to-peer computer program.
“Carroll believed he could use a sophisticated computer program to safely download child pornography and evade law enforcement,” said U. S. Attorney John Horn. “He soon discovered that law enforcement was well aware of the peer-to-peer network programs he used and, through the hard work of the GBI agents, put an end to his exploitation of children.”
“This conviction illustrates the great work of law enforcement to investigate and prosecute crimes against children. The GBI is committed to working with our local, state, and federal partners to ensure that child pornography cases are aggressively pursued,” said Vernon Keenan, Director, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: in September 2014, special agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation were conducting a state wide online investigation of persons who were using peer-to-peer programs to share photos and videos of child pornography.
A peer-to-peer program is a software program that allows users to share files directly with each other without having to use a server. GBI special agents downloaded two files containing child pornography from a computer, and they were also able to capture the Internet Protocol (“IP”) address. The IP address was assigned to a house in Newnan, Georgia, and agents were able to identify Charles Carroll as the sole resident of that house.
Based on this information, GBI special agents obtained a search warrant for the house, which they carried out on October 22, 2014. They took two laptop computers. A search of the laptops showed that one of them contained more than 300 photos and 64 videos depicting the sexual abuse of children, mostly girls between the ages of 6 and 10 years. Carroll was indicted on one count of distributing child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography.
At trial, Carroll testified and blamed a former friend for downloading child pornography on his computer. The government called the friend as a rebuttal witness, who said that he did not download child pornography on Carroll’s computer and that he used his own laptop whenever he was at Carroll’s house. The jury found Carroll guilty of both distributing and possessing child pornography.
Charles Carroll, 35, of Newnan, Georgia, has been sentenced to 12 years, six months in prison, to be followed by a lifetime term of supervised release. Carroll was found guilty by a jury on June 22, 2016. There is no parole in the federal system.
This case was investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Assistant United States Attorney Paul R. Jones prosecuted the case.
This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Attorney General launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices around the country, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.