Child porn suspect convicted, sentenced to prison

A Seattle Police Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) case results in a 25 year prison sentence.  The following news release is courtesy of the Department of Justice:

SEATTLE MAN SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS IN PRISON FOR DISTRIBUTION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
Defendant with History of Hands-on Molestation was Making Available More than 100,000 Images

JOHN RICHARD COTHERN, 44, of Seattle, Washington, was sentenced last week to 25 years in prison and a lifetime of supervised release for distribution of child pornography.  Law enforcement identified COTHERN during an investigation of peer-to-peer file sharing of child pornography.  COTHERN contacted undercover FBI agents over the internet offering to trade child pornography.  Analysis of COTHERN’s computer revealed he was sharing more than 136,000 files.  COTHERN has a history of offenses against children.  In 1996, COTHERN was convicted of child molestation in Yakima County Superior Court.  In 2001, he was convicted of possession of child pornography in federal court for the Eastern District of Washington.   U.S. District Judge James L. Robart imposed the 25 year sentence saying this was a “very serious case to the Court because of [the defendant’s] prior child molestation conviction.”

According to records filed in the case, in 2009 undercover agents became aware of COTHERN’s activity.  He had just completed supervised release for his earlier conviction.  COTHERN was indicted in September 2010, and pleaded guilty in April 2011.  COTHERN admitted to law enforcement that he had victimized several children.  In the past he had sought employment as a teacher and camp counselor – positions that give him access to children.
 
Prosecutors requested the 25 year sentence writing to the court:  “These child pornography images and videos that Mr. Cothern distributed depict real children being raped.  Every time these images are viewed, and every time these images are traded, further abuse inflicted to the victim…Mr. Cothern’s conduct, and the conduct of others like him, contributes to the demand for more child pornography images.  The trading of child pornography creates a network of offenders and opens up avenues for further child abuse.”

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Seattle Police Department.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Brian Werner and Roger Rogoff. 

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.projectsafechildhood.gov.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.