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Child Exploitation
06/04/2013

Georgia sex offender sentenced in child porn case

ATLANTA — A Georgia man was sentenced to 20 years in prison Monday for distribution of child pornography over the Internet following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Milton Hugh Cashwell, a previously convicted sex offender, pleaded guilty to the charge March 29 and was also sentenced to a lifetime period of supervised release by U.S. District Court Judge Steve C. Jones.

"The distribution of images portraying the sexual abuse of children is horrific," said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. "The crime is made that much more egregious by the fact that the defendant had been previously convicted of molesting children. We will continue to identify and prosecute offenders who victimize innocent children."

"While it is no surprise that a sex offender previously convicted of crimes involving children would be involved in the distribution of child pornography, the level of depravity on display in these cases is extremely troubling," said Brock D. Nicholson, special agent in charge of HSI Atlanta. "Everyone has a stake in stopping the sexual exploitation of our children. Trading in this filth is not OK; this is not a victimless crime."

According to Yates and information contained in public documents, during an undercover child pornography investigation in July 2012, an HSI special agent made contact with Cashwell after Cashwell offered to trade child pornography images online. Cashwell is a previously convicted sex offender, having been convicted of exploiting several children in Sumter County, Ga., in the 1980s. Cashwell distributed five separate videos containing graphic images of child pornography to the agent by email, including a video that showed an adult male raping a female child approximately six years of age. Federal agents subsequently executed a search warrant at Cashwell's home in Americus. During that search, agents found broken pieces of Cashwell's cell phone in his backyard, a phone he attempted to destroy to avoid being caught with the pornographic images.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678.

HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.