TERRE HAUTE —
A Terre Haute man has been sentenced to 11 years, three months in federal prison on charges of possession of child pornography.
U.S. Attorney Joseph H. Hogsett on Tuesday announced the sentencing of Emery Norton, 26, by U.S. District Judge Larry J. McKinney. Norton, under federal law, will be required to serve no less than 85 percent of the federal sentence.
An investigation into Norton began in November 2012 when Indiana State Police located a computer on a network sharing site.
On March 28 of this year, a state police search of a laptop, desktop computer and thumb drive at Norton’s residence in the 2500 block of North 17th Street revealed thousands of images and hundreds of videos depicting images of child pornography.
“All told, Mr. Norton was in possession of tens of thousands of files of exploited children, all found within his home,” Hogsett said.
Norton also has been ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution to three victims identified in the materials. The victims were not Indiana residents, Hogsett said. Norton also will serve a lifetime of federal supervision at the end of his prison term.
The investigation was part of Operation Community Watch, an effort “to bring together law enforcement agencies with cutting edge technology to allow prosecutors and investigators to identify and hold accountable those in Hoosier communities who are engaged in the receipt and the trafficking of child pornographic materials,” Hogsett said.
Norton’s prosecution was part of Project Safe Childhood, a larger nationwide program to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Under that program, the U.S. Attorney’s office in the U.S. Southern District of Indiana has prosecuted 52 defendants, an increase of 37 percent over last year. Of those, 49 defendants were convicted and sentenced. Both are all-time records for the office, Hogsett said.
“I believe the greatest measure of the program’s impact … is the number of child victims of sexual exploitation and abuse who have been identified and rescued. More than 120 child victims over the last year have been identified all over the country” as well as in Canada, Switzerland and other countries, Hogsett said.
Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or email@example.com.