CHARLESTON, W.Va. – William Lawrence Bryant, 32, of Fayetteville, pleaded guilty today to sexual exploitation of a minor and distribution of child pornography.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on April 1, 2022, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Bryant’s Fayetteville residence and seized multiple digital media devices including computers, cell phones, and external hard drives. Bryant told the officers that he downloaded and distributed child pornography on various internet platforms and websites from approximately 2017 until March 1, 2021. Bryant admitted that the digital media devices were his and contained images and videos showing prepubescent minor male children subjected to sexually explicit conduct. Bryant further admitted that the child pornography he possessed included a video of a male toddler being sexually assaulted by an adult male.
Officers found a photograph on one of the cell phones depicting Bryant naked with a minor male child who was asleep and in underwear. Bryant admitted to taking the photograph and further admitted that the minor male child was younger than 12 years old.
Bryant is scheduled to be sentenced on March 22, 2023, and faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years and up to 50 years in prison, five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a $500,000 fine.
United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force, the West Virginia State Police, and the FBI Baltimore field office.
Senior United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr., presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Ryan A. Keefe is prosecuting the case.
This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative of the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s 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 those who sexually exploit children, and 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. 2:22-cr-112.