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Child Exploitation
06/05/2019

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Repeat sex offender sentenced to 10 years in prison for possession of images of child rape and molestation

Special Agent in Charge Brad Bench of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Seattle Field Office and U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran announced today that a 45-year-old Auburn, Washington man who used peer-to-peer software to share more than 2800 images of sexual assaults of children was sentenced to ten years in prison. Jeremy James Cherry, has a 2001 King County Superior Court conviction for rape of a child and attempted possession of child pornography.  He served eight years in prison and participated in sex offender treatment.  However, in March 2018, a Seattle Police Department Detective identified Cherry as the owner of a computer that shared more than 2800 images of child pornography between August 2017 and March 2018.  At the sentencing hearing U.S. District Judge John C. Coughnour said he was imposing the ten year sentence because of Cherry’s prior hands-on offense against children.

According to records filed in the case, Cherry was 27-years-old and acting as an in-home caregiver for three young children when one of them disclosed the sexual molestation.  Cherry pleaded guilty to rape of a child, and to attempted possession of child pornography. He served eight years in prison.  Cherry admitted that after sex offender treatment between 2010 and 2013, and once he completed his community supervision, he began seeking out child pornography again.

Cherry was identified as part of Operation Broken Heart. Operation Broken Heart resulted in the arrest of more than 2,300 suspected online child sex offenders during a three-month, nationwide operation conducted by 61 Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces.  During March, April and May of 2018, the ICAC task forces investigated more the 25,200 complaints of technology-facilitated crimes against children.

The case was investigated by the Seattle Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security Investigations and was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Cecelia Gregson.  Ms. Gregson is a Senior King County Deputy Prosecutor specially designated to prosecute child exploitation crimes in federal court.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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 justice.gov/psc.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 06/05/2019