North Carolina man sentenced to 12 years in prison for child pornography
Published 7:45 am Sunday, June 25, 2023
A Lucama man was sentenced May 31, 2023 to 144 months in prison for the receipt and possession of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) between April 2020 and August 2021, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina. Jason Ray Batten, 39, pleaded guilty on February 7, 2023 to one count of receipt of child pornography.
According to court documents and other information presented in court, on November 23, 2020, an online undercover employee observed a user of social media platform Kik posting links containing CSAM. Investigators traced the IP address used by the account back to North Carolina and ultimately identified the individuals to whom the subject user accounts were registered, stated the release.
“On August 24, 2021, investigators executed a search warrant at Batten’s address and also confronted Batten at a nearby property. When confronted, Batten made a number of voluntary admissions, including that he had been involved in the transmission, receipt and possession of CSAM for approximately four years, was a member of multiple online groups known for sharing of CSAM, and even served as the moderator of one such online group,” stated the release. “A full forensic examination revealed numerous image and video files of CSAM, including files depicting the sexual abuse of minors as young as infants, and a number of CSAM videos over 10 minutes long.”
Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and Greenville Police Department investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan M. Stephany prosecuted.
“This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice,” stated the release. “Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.”