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November 2, 2020Lexington, KYUnited StatesChild Exploitation

Former county constable and city firefighter sentenced for child exploitation

LEXINGTON, Ky. - A Kentucky man was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky to serve 420 months in prison for producing child pornography.

The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General, and the Cynthiana Police Department.

William Michael Fields, Jr., 37, of Cynthiana, Kentucky, was convicted after a two-day trial in June 2020. According to trial testimony and documents on file with the court, Fields, then 36, exercised his positions as a Harrison County Constable and Paris Fire Department firefighter to form a relationship with a 17-year-old victim, who was interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement or emergency medicine. The victim became acquainted with Fields in early 2019 while visiting a fire station in Harrison County, and began communicating with the victim through the social media platform Snapchat.

“HSI Nashville works with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to investigate and seek prosecution of predators who exploit children through the production and distribution of child pornography,” said HSI Nashville Special Agent in Charge Jerry C. Templet, Jr. “As the victims of these crimes often suffer long-term effects, it is imperative that we do our part to ensure that the perpetrators are punished for their heinous actions. We are especially pleased with the lengthy sentence for this offender who used his positions of authority to entice a vulnerable victim.”

In March 2019, Fields sent the victim a text message asking her to meet him. He met with the victim that night, provided her with alcohol, and had sexual intercourse with the victim in the back of an ambulance. Fields used the victim’s cellphone to video record the encounter, and then sent the video to himself. A thumbnail image from the video was later found on Fields’ cellphone.

Evidence at trial also revealed that Fields had sexual intercourse with the underage victim again at the Emergency Medical Training Facility in Bourbon County in March 2019 and used the victim’s cellphone to record the encounter.

Law enforcement performed a forensic examination of Fields’ cellphone and discovered screen shots from the videos of Fields’ sexual encounters with the victim.

Under federal law, Fields must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence and will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for 20 years.

“This conduct is simply inexcusable – the defendant abused his positions of trust and authority, as a firefighter and constable, and used them to sexually exploit a minor victim,” said Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. “He further victimized her by knowingly using her to create images of child pornography. This despicable conduct warrants significant punishment, both to hold him accountable and to deter others from engaging in similar conduct.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office was represented in the case by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Erin Roth and Mary Melton.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE; TTY for hearing impaired: (802) 872-6196. This hotline is staffed around-the-clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may also be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678 or https://report.cybertip.org/.

Updated: 11/02/2020