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Child Exploitation

Tallahassee man sentenced to 10 years for possessing child pornography

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.A Tallahassee man was sentenced Thursday to 120 months in federal prison for one count of possession of child pornography. The sentence resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office.

In October, investigators discovered that Phillip Wayne Mathenia, 63, possessed hundreds of images of child pornography on several computers, as well as in books, magazines and films that appeared to be decades old. Mathenia also had thousands of computer-generated images and cartoon drawings depicting children and infants engaged in sexual activity. In addition to the child pornography images, investigators found written stories describing adults performing sex acts on children.

Mathenia was previously convicted of receiving and possessing child pornography in 2004. He was sentenced to serve 96 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

Due to his prior conviction, Mathenia was sentenced to serve a mandatory minimum term of 10 years in prison. He was also sentenced to eight months in prison for violating his supervised release. After his release from federal prison, Mathenia will be placed on supervised release for the rest of his life.

He pleaded guilty to the most recent charges May 10.

The 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.