By Joe Johnson
A Walton County resident was convicted by a federal jury on Thursday for possession of child sexual abuse material resulting from a GBI-led undercover investigation of an online peer-to-peer sharing network.
Johnathan Remsen, 37, of Loganville, Georgia, was found guilty of possession of child pornography on Feb. 1 following a two-day trial that began on Jan. 31 before U.S. District Judge C. Ashley Royal.
Remsen faces a maximum of 20 years imprisonment to be followed by a maximum supervised release term of life and a $250,000 fine. In addition, Remsen will have to register as a sex offender for life upon release from prison. Sentencing should occur within the next 90 days. There is no parole in the federal system.
"After a lengthy investigation and subsequent trial, Johnathan Remsen is finally being held criminally accountable for willfully downloading hundreds of images and videos of the sexual abuse and exploitation of children, including extremely young children," said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. "Every time a person views child sexual abuse material, they become complicit in the appalling abuse of a child. Our office will push for the federal prosecution of these criminal voyeurs."
"The victimization of a child doesn't end when that child's pornographic images are recorded. Every time an individual like Remsen possesseersonal gratification, that child is victimized again and again," said s those images and views them for pKeri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. "The FBI will always make it a priority to protect our most vulnerable assets, our children."
"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 just like this one and 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," said GBI Director Mike Register.
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 child porn from an IP address traced back to a Walton County residence where Remsen lived. Law enforcement searched the residence in Jan. 2018, recovering a computer tower belonging to Remsen that contained 2,357 picture files and 196 video files of suspected pornography. Remsen was interviewed by law enforcement and made statements indicating that he "accidentally" downloaded the photos, and then later stated that it was not an accident. He further admitted that he looked at the photos, but he never meant to download or keep it. The explicit photos and videos contained child sexual abuse material of children 12 years old and younger.
The case was investigated by the GBI and the FBI.