RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – 21-year-old Paul C. Marlowe of Chesterfield was sentenced to 210 months in prison Friday for transporting child pornography, a sentence that was enhanced because of Marlowe's pattern of sexually abusing children and minors.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Ken Cuccinelli, Attorney General of Virginia, made the announcement after sentencing by Senior United States District Judge Robert E. Payne.
"Every image in a child pornography case represents someone abusing a child," said U.S. Attorney MacBride. "These are not just photos, and this case makes clear that those who view these images may engage in abuse themselves. My office aggressively pursues these cases to stop the abuse and take these predators off our streets."
"The devastating impact that sexual abuse and exploitation have on the children involved can never be undone," said Attorney General Cuccinelli. "But what we can do is work vigorously to find predators like Marlowe and then punish them to the fullest extent of the law. These criminals need to be locked up so they can't continue to harm the most innocent in our society."
On Jan. 20, 2010, Marlowe pled to two counts of transportation of child pornography. According to court documents in the case, Marlowe was identified by law-enforcement officers during an undercover investigation of individuals trading images of child sexual abuse over the Internet. During their investigation, agents executed a search warrant at Marlowe's residence where they seized a computer. A subsequent forensic examination revealed emails sent to different individuals from Marlowe's AOL email account with attachments containing numerous images of child pornography, as well as dozens of additional images and videos of child sexual abuse saved on the computer. Marlowe later admitted to agents to sending the emails.
During interviews conducted during the course of the investigation, Marlowe also admitted to engaging in sexually explicit conduct with six children ranging in age from 2 to 14 years old.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Virginia State Police. Special Assistant United States Attorneys Gene Fishel and Tommy Johnstone of the Virginia Attorney General's Office prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.
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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.