NORFOLK, Va. - Shon M. Walter, 50, of Norfolk, was sentenced Tuesday to 23 years in prison on child pornography charges, followed by a life term of supervised release as a result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Walter pleaded guilty on June 1, 2009, to two counts of receipt of child pornography.
According to court documents, between 2005 and 2008, Walter used a now-defunct, Internet-based computer program called GoogleHello to receive images of child pornography. The program allowed users to engage in online chat sessions while simultaneously exchanging picture files. During this time period, Walter received more than 8,000 images of child pornography.
According to court proceedings, the former Granby High School teacher also created videos and took numerous pictures of him and his wife engaged in sex acts while one of them held one of their toddler children. Some of these pictures were sent during the online chat sessions. Judge Friedman found that the exploitive nature of this conduct and the amount of images received were among the reasons justifying an increase to the sentencing guideline calculation. The resulting guideline range was 262 to 327 months in prison.
As part of Walter's sentence, Judge Friedman ordered that once released from prison, Walter will have to register as a sex offender, will not be permitted to take a paid or voluntary position involving children, and will not be permitted to have contact with minors, including his own children, without supervision and approval by his probation officer.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign national predators whose crimes make them deportable. Launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 11,600 individuals through Operation Predator.
ICE encourages the pubic to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.
Suspected child exploitation or missing children may be reporter to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-822-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.