Man Who “Systematically Groomed” a Child for Sexual Gratification Sentenced to over Twenty-Eight Years in Prison

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A man who took photographs of a child performing a sex act was sentenced today to more than twenty-eight years in federal prison.

Terrance Sullivan, age 63, from Waterloo, Iowa, received the prison term after a March 8, 2021 guilty plea to the sexual exploitation of a child.

At the guilty plea, Sullivan admitted that in September of 2019, he photographed a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct with a Nikon digital camera.  At sentencing, the judge noted that Sullivan “systematically groomed” the child to “obtain her trust” for his own sexual gratification.  Sullivan’s actions required thoughtful planning, as he locked the door behind him in order to orchestrate taking photographs of the child, which he admitted he knew he should not be doing but thought it was fun.

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Sullivan was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Sullivan was sentenced to 346 months’ imprisonment and fined $100.  He was also assessed additional assessments of $5,000.  He must also serve a five-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.


Sullivan is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.            The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth Dupuich and investigated by the Waterloo 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.”

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Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl

The case file number is 20-CR-2021.

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