By Joe Johnson
A Walton County man was sentenced Tuesday in U.S.District Court in Athens to serve 15 years in prison after having been convicted by a jury of possessing child sexual abuse material (CSAM) of victims who were 12 years old and younger..
The conviction in February of 38-year-old Loganville resident Jonathan Remsen had resulted from a Georgia Bureau of Investigation-led undercover investigation of an online peer-to-peer sharing network.
There is No parole in the federal penal system, and after completing his sentence Remsen will have to serve to serve 25 years of supervised release and register as a sex offender.
"Our office will not hesitate to use the federal resources at our disposal to hold individuals accountable for downloading, sharing, creating or contributing to the sexual abuse and exploitation of children," said U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia Peter D. Leary. "Every time a person views child sexual abuse material, they become complicit in the appalling abuse of a child. "Working with our dedicated law enforcement and community partners, we will do everything in our power to protect the innocent and bring child predators to justice."
Keri Farley, special agent in charge of FBI Atlanta said, "The victimization of a child doesn't end when that child's pornographic images are recorded. Every time an individual like Remsen possesses those images and views them for personal gratification, that child is victimized again and again. The FBI will always make it a priority to protect our most vulnerable assets, our children."
The agent added, "Federal prosecution sends a clear message that downloading and viewing child sexual abuse material is a serious crime."
The GBI's Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit investigates numerous cases such as this one, said GBI Director Chris Hosey, adding that his agency "will not slow down until these perpetrators are held accountable. We'll continue to work with strong federal partners, like the United States Attorney's Office, to seek justice for these vulnerable victims."
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, GBI conducted an undercover investigation on the peer-to-peer sharing network BitTorrent in July 2017. An undercover agent received 29 videos containing CSAM from an IP address traced back to a Walton County residence where Remsen resided. Authorities searched the residence in January 2018, recovering a computer tower belonging to Remsen that contained 2,357 picture files and 196 video files of child pornography.
Remsen was interviewed by law enforcement and made statements indicating that he "accidentally" downloaded the abusive material but later stated that it was not an accident.
He further admitted that he looked at CSAM, but he never meant to download or keep it. The explicit photos and videos reportedly contained child sexual abuse material of children 12 years old and younger.