Registered sex offender sentenced to 10 years in prison for possession of images of child rape and abuse

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Seattle – A registered sex offender, originally from Arkansas, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 10 years in prison, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman.   Johnathon R. Umphlett, 31, of Arkansas, pleaded guilty in October 2020 to possession of child pornography.  At today’s sentencing hearing U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour imposed lifetime supervised release to follow prison, noting Umphlett’s history of molesting children.

According to records filed in the case, Umphlett was contacted by Seattle Police in June 2019, when a witness at a restaurant reported Umphlett was viewing what appeared to be child pornography on his smart phone.  Umphlett provided his phone to the Seattle Police Detective for review, and the detective verified a number of images of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.  Forensic analysis of the phone revealed 68 files of images of child rape and abuse.  Umphlett has a 2014 conviction in Arkansas for sexually assaulting a seven-year-old boy.  He admits to a history of sexual abuse of children including molesting a 6-year-old child in a public restroom at a church.

In asking for the 10-year sentence prosecutors wrote to the court “Those who collect and share images and videos of children being raped and tortured further a market that thrives on the sexual abuse of children. The collection of this material drives demand for new material and normalize horrific acts of sexual exploitation. And it subjects victims of child abuse to perpetual re-victimization, knowing that the digital record of their worst moments forever travels the globe to satisfy the sexual appetite of child predators.”

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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.justice.gov/psc 

The Internet Crimes against Children Task Force led by the Seattle Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Cecelia Gregson.

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