Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that William Gauld, age 33 of Texarkana, Arkansas, was sentenced today to 180 months in prison without the possibility of parole, followed by ten years of supervised release for Receipt of Images of Child Pornography, a charge he pleaded guilty to in September, 2014. The sentencing took place before the Honorable Susan O. Hickey in the United States District Court in Texarkana.
According to court records, in March of 2014, during the course of an investigation into the online trafficking of Child Pornography, agents with Homeland Security Investigations and Internet Crimes Against Children’s Taskforce conducted an interview with Gauld concerning pictures and sexually explicit comments he posted to the internet. During the interview, Gauld admitted to downloading child pornography on both his cell phone and his laptop computer. A subsequent forensic examination of those items revealed multiple images and videos of child pornography. One of the videos depicted three nude minor males, approximately nine to twelve years of age, engaging in sexually explicit conduct. At sentencing, the Government presented the Court with evidence that at the time of this offense, Gauld was required to register as a sex offender based on a previous conviction.
U. S. Attorney Eldridge stated, “Children are the number one priority for our office, and we will not rest in our efforts to identify, investigate, and prosecute those who commit these despicable crimes against them. Every time a video or image involving sexual abuse of children is downloaded or viewed, those children are re-victimized. We appreciate the hard work of law enforcement to bring these sexual predators to justice.”
“This case shows anyone involved in the trade of child pornography can and will be held accountable for their criminal actions,” said Cindy M. Johnson, acting special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations New Orleans. “Sexual abuse scars children for life and HSI will continue to use all the tools in its arsenal to identify and seek prosecution of these criminals, and to seek justice on behalf of their victims.”
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant United States Attorney Dustin Roberts and Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan Ross prosecuted the case for the United States.
The 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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and their Criminal Division Child Exploitation and Obscenity Sections (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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.