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Johnson City man sentenced on child porn charge

Matthew Lane • Jan 18, 2020 at 6:30 PM

GREENEVILLE — A Johnson City man who admitted to purchasing thousands of child pornography images and videos from an illegal website will spend more than 11 years in a federal prison.

Perry Alan Skeen appeared in U.S. District Court in Greeneville Friday afternoon for a sentencing hearing. He was previously charged in September 2018 on a three-count indictment, charging him with the receipt, distribution and possession of child pornography.

Skeen agreed to plead guilty in January 2019 to the receipt charge.

During a sentencing hearing on Friday, Skeen received a 141 month prison sentence and was ordered to pay $15,000 in restitution. Skeen faced five to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

According to the plea agreement, the Department of Homeland Security began an investigation of a website that advertised child pornography for sale. It was a fee-based website, password-protected for its users.

As of March 2012, the site advertised 600,000 images and 400 hours of video.

While federal agents were investigating the site, court records state they were also looking into a link between the site and a U.S.-based payment processor.

ABOUT THE INVESTIGATION

In September 2017, federal agents began identifying individuals who made multiple purchases from the child pornography website, including Skeen, who had purchased multiple videos and images from the site from March 2017 through January 2018.

Court records state that federal agents executed a search warrant at Skeen’s home, seizing a computer and several hard drives. A forensic analysis of the hard drives revealed nearly 1,000 videos and 400,000 images of child pornography.

The material included children under the age of 12, sadistic in nature and with depictions of violence, court records state.

Skeen admitted to federal agents that he had purchased the material, shared it on the site’s forum and that he found it “tantalizing.”

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