Convicted Sex Offender Pleads Guilty to Possession of Child Pornography

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

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A convicted sex offender residing at a Charleston homeless facility pleaded guilty today to possessing child pornography.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on April 25, 2020, James Gipson, 59, was in the common room of a homeless facility on Leon Sullivan Way when facility staff observed Gipson looking at child pornography on a laptop he possessed. The staff summoned police, who recovered the laptop. A forensic analysis found more than 300 images depicting child pornography on Gipson’s laptop. Gipson admitted that the laptop was his and that he knew he should not have possessed it.

Gipson was previously convicted of possession of child pornography in United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia and was sentenced to 10 years and six months in prison on March 5, 2012. Gipson was on lifetime supervised release as a result of that conviction when he committed this new crime. Gipson was also a registered sex offender at the time of this incident as a result of the 2012 conviction.

Gipson is scheduled to be sentenced on September 26, 2022, and faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to 20 years in prison as well as at least five years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the Charleston Police Department and the South Charleston Police Department for conducting and assisting in the investigation. Thompson also credited the shelter staff for being vigilant in protecting their facility and its residents.

United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Kristin F. Scott is prosecuting the case.

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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and 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.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:21-cr-92.

 

 

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