LOUISVILLE, KY. – Robert Alan Thompson, 34, of Hodgenville, Kentucky, was sentenced by United States District Judge David J. Hale on Thursday, January 29, 2021, to 15 years in prison followed by a 15-year term of Supervised Release for online enticement of a minor and production of child pornography, announced Acting United States Attorney Michael A. Bennett.
According to the Plea Agreement, on April 21, 2020, law enforcement officials executed a state search warrant at the residence where Thompson was living in LaRue County, Kentucky, and seized Thompson’s iPhone. During a post-Miranda interview, Thompson indicated that he would receive images and videos of child pornography via online links and visit teen chat rooms pretending to be a teenage boy. Thompson further stated that about a month prior to the search he had received two pictures of underage boys engaging in sexually explicit conduct from a friend.
A Detective with the Kentucky Office of Attorney General’s Department of Criminal Investigations conducted a full file system extraction of the iPhone. During the review, the Detective found evidence of child pornography and evidence that, earlier in April 2020, Thompson initiated a conversation with a former 8th grade student of his – who was then 17. Thompson directed the conversation to sexual topics and subsequently asked for, and received, sexually explicit images of the former student.
“I commend the outstanding work of the Kentucky Attorney General’s Department of Criminal Investigations in thoroughly pursing all aspects of this case and the valuable assistance provided by the United States Secret Service, Kentucky State Police, and the Radcliff Police Department,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett. “The teamwork of our law enforcement partners and prosecutors sends a clear message to those who sexually exploit children in the Commonwealth – you will identified, apprehended, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
“We are fortunate to have strong partnerships with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies who work together to stop child exploitation in the Commonwealth,” said Attorney General Cameron. “Our Department of Criminal Investigations and investigator Mike Littrell worked diligently on this case, and we are grateful for the work of Acting U.S. Attorney Bennett and his team, including AUSA Jo Lawless, the United States Secret Service, the Kentucky State Police, and the Radcliff Police Department.”
Assistant United States Attorney Jo E. Lawless prosecuted the case. The Kentucky Office of Attorney General’s Department of Criminal Investigations conducted the investigation, with assistance from the United States Secret Service, Kentucky State Police, and Radcliff Police Department.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”