Montgomery, Alabama – On Wednesday, August 26, 2020, Charles Bennett Salter III, a 38-year-old resident of Montgomery, Alabama, was sentenced to 121 months in prison after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Louis V. Franklin, Sr. The pronounced sentence in this case was at the very top of the federal sentencing guidelines. After serving his sentence, Salter will be on supervised release for five years and must register as a sex offender.
The investigation into Salter’s online activity began in February 2018. Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement found more than 3,000 images and 86 videos of child pornography on various electronic devices. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) examined the devices and identified more than 1500 images of known victims. Although law enforcement did not identify any local victims in the images and videos containing child pornography, during the sentencing hearing, the judge noted that an additional 439 images of clothed children were found on Salter’s cell phone that may have been taken by him in, or around, the Montgomery area. These photos were from various public places, such as stores and restaurants, and appeared to have been taken without the children’s knowledge. Many of these images focused on the buttocks or genital areas of the unsuspecting children. It was also noted that female dolls of various sizes, one with its arms bound behind its back, along with children’s underpants and white duct tape, were found by agents in Salter’s bedroom.
“Let me be clear, the possession of child pornography is not a victimless crime,” stated U.S. Attorney Franklin. “The children in these images are real victims, who suffer real trauma when photographed while being molested and/or posing in sexually suggestive positions. In fact, the victimization is repeated each time that photograph is shared with someone else. The evidence proves that Salter had a sexual interest in children and it played a role in creating the demand for child pornography. Even more disturbing was the covert capturing of images of local children. Make no mistake, Salter is a predator and I believe the prison sentence he received was justified and necessary to protect our children from the threat he posed.”
This case was investigated by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA), with assistance from the Montgomery Police Department, the Prattville Police Department, the Tallassee Police Department, and the United States Marshals Service. Assistant United States Attorneys Russell Duraski and Hollie Reed prosecuted the case.