Spokane – Joseph H. Harrington, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Jason William Cathcart, age 52, a resident of Selah, Washington and Las Vegas, Nevada, was sentenced May 10, 2021, after having pleaded guilty to two counts of production of child pornography, on June 15, 2020. Chief United States District Judge Stanley A. Bastian sentenced Cathcart to 30 years of imprisonment, to be reduced by 5 years already spent in related state custody, for a final federal term of imprisonment of 25 years. The Court also imposed a lifetime term of court supervision after Cathcart is released from federal prison.
In March, 2016, a witness reported to the Selah Police Department that a minor child had been molested by Cathcart after walking in on him and the minor partially nude. Cathcart exclaimed something similar to, “No, no, no my life is over.” Cathcart turned himself in to police and admitted engaging in sexual acts with the minor child. Cathcart was arrested and later convicted of state charges for First Degree Child Molestation where he was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 10 years of confinement.
A federal investigation followed, and devices seized from Cathcart’s residence were forensically examined. On Cathcart’s devices, investigators located images of child pornography that he had produced involving two minor children, including the one previously mentioned. Cathcart used the children to take part in sexually explicit conduct to produce sexually explicit images. The devices used by Cathcart had been mailed, shipped, and/or transported across state lines and/or in foreign commerce. Over two thousand additional images of other child pornography were also located on Cathcart’s devices.
Acting U.S. Attorney Joseph H. Harrington said, “The lengthy sentence imposed today demonstrates the severity of Cathcart’s criminal conduct. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington is committed to protecting vulnerable victims and prosecuting individuals who engage in conduct in which they attempt to produce child pornography and sexually exploit children. I commend the outstanding work of our federal, state and local partners who worked collaboratively in the investigation of this case.”
This case was pursued as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the United States 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. The Project Safe Childhood Initiative (“PSC”) has five major components:
· Integrated federal, state, and local efforts to investigate and prosecute child exploitation cases,
and to identify and rescue children;
· Participation of PSC partners in coordinated national initiatives;
· Increased federal enforcement in child pornography and enticement cases;
· Training of federal, state, and local law enforcement agents; and
· Community awareness and educational programs.
This case was investigated by the Spokane Resident Office of the United States Secret Service and the Selah Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Ian L. Garriques, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.