Convicted Sex Offender Sentenced To 25 Years For Sending And Receiving Child Sexual Abuse Images And Videos Over The Internet

2 mins read
FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton has sentenced Thomas James Harris (42, Orlando), a registered sex offender, to 25 years in federal prison for receiving and distributing child sexual abuse images and videos over the internet. Harris was also ordered to serve a life term of supervised release. Harris had pleaded guilty on February 2, 2022.

In 2005, Harris was convicted of attempting to provide obscene material to minors, using the internet to solicit a child for sex or lewdness, promoting a sexual performance by a child, and possession of child pornography. As a result, he is registered and designated as a sexual offender.

According to court documents, Harris used a particular chat application to download images and videos depicting children being sexually abused and distributed them over the internet. Harris also distributed some of these materials to an undercover FBI agent.

On November 5, 2021, FBI agents executed a federal search warrant to seize and search Harris’s cellphone. A forensic review of the phone revealed child sex abuse images and videos on the device. During an interview, Harris admitted to receiving, viewing, and distributing child sex abuse images and videos using chat application accounts that had been previously identified on his cellphone by the FBI. Several of the videos received by Harris and found on his cellphone depicted toddler-aged children being sexually abused.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Terry B. Livanos.

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 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 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.justice.gov/psc.