United States Attorney Joe Kelly announced that Joshua D. Walsh, 29, of Lincoln, Nebraska, was sentenced today in Lincoln by Senior United States District Judge Richard G. Kopf for receipt and distribution of child pornography. Walsh was sentenced to 5 years in prison and 5 years of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system. Walsh was additionally ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution which will contribute to funds established for victims of these types of crimes.
In June of 2017, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) generated five cybertips that originated from Chatstep, a social networking website that allows users to interact in online chatrooms. The cybertips related to images of child pornography being shared by an individual later identified to Walsh. Based upon the cybertips and subsequent investigation, the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) served a federal search warrant at Walsh’s residence on July 26, 2018. Walsh admitted to possessing and viewing child pornography during an interview. Walsh also admitted that he used Chatstep around June of 2017 to engage in chats with other individuals and to share child pornography that he had uploaded. A subsequent analysis of Walsh’s cellphone and Dropbox accounts revealed approximately 264 image files and 4 video files of child pornography.
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.
This case was investigated by the Nebraska State Patrol.