GREENSBORO – A North Carolina man was sentenced on May 19, 2022, to 170 months in prison, followed by a 15-year term of supervised release, for sexual exploitation of minors after a multi-state effort by federal and local agencies identified a user in North Carolina involved in the receipt and distribution of child pornography and solicitation of sexually explicit images from two minors.
According to court documents, Robert Hoyt Reece, 39, was identified by agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, after receiving information from local law enforcement in another state about an individual in Lexington, North Carolina possessing child pornography and communicating with minors across the country. The FBI later identified the individual as Reece and the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office (DSCO) executed a search warrant at Reece’s residence in April 2021 where they confiscated multiple devices containing images and videos of child pornography. Reece admitted to officers that he had used multiple devices and applications to access child pornography. As a result of the investigation, it was also determined he was communicating with two out-of-state minors inappropriately and soliciting sexual images from them.
He was charged in the Middle District of North Carolina in October 2021 with one count of coercion or enticement of a minor, two counts of sexual exploitation of children, one count of possession of child pornography, and two counts of sexual exploitation of minors. In January 2022, Reece pled guilty to one count of receiving child pornography. In addition to his imprisonment and supervised release, Reece was ordered to pay $23,000 in restitution to the child pornography victims.
The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation assisted with the investigation. FBI offices throughout the country assisted in locating the victims and identifying Reece as the perpetrator.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Lindsey Freeman and Kennedy Gates. It was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative by the Department of Justice to combat online child sexual exploitation and abuse. The initiative is led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), and focuses on coordinating federal, state, and local resources to better identify and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. http://www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.