ROCKWALL, Texas — Jon Anthony Terry, 30, was sentenced yesterday to 60 years in federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, Erin Nealy Cox.
On November 14, 2017, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents executed a search warrant at a home in Rockwall, Texas where Terry was living. The warrant described several child pornography files that Terry had distributed and law enforcement had intercepted. The videos and images depicted children as young as toddlers engaged in sexually explicit conduct. After agreeing to speak to agents, Terry admitted to sexually abusing one of the children who was currently residing with him. Several media devices containing incriminating media were seized by the agents.
Upon review of Terry’s media collection, agents discovered over 1000 videos and images of prepubescent children engaged in sexual acts. Additionally, they uncovered videos and images that Terry himself had produced of four children, including the one Terry had previously admitted to molesting. The children ranged in age from 2-10 years old.
On December 13, 2017, a federal grand jury indicted Terry for four counts of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. On February 19, 2019, Terry pled guilty to two counts of production of child pornography, each punishable from 15-30 years in prison.
On September 11, 2019, Chief Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn heard evidence at the sentencing regarding the abuse of these children. Three of the parents of the victims provided statements that detailed the extreme emotional and physical suffering that the children endured and still endure as a result of Terry’s actions. The Court sentenced Terry to 720 months in federal prison and supervised release for life.
“We will not tolerate criminals who target innocent children,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “I am proud of my office and the investigating agents’ efforts in this case. The investigation and prosecution of these horrific crimes reinforces our commitment to protecting the most vulnerable in our society – our children.”
“As lengthy as it is, 60 years in prison will never compare to the lifetime of pain and suffering the innocent children in this case have been sentenced to. Plain and simple, the criminal in this case is a monster whose disgusting actions stripped these victims of their innocence and dignity,” said Ryan L. Spradlin, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Dallas. “Homeland Security Investigations special agents won’t ever relent when it comes to protecting children and prosecuting predators whose behavior has no place in our society.”
This case involved the coordinated efforts of HSI and the Ozark Arkansas Police Department. AUSA Camille Sparks prosecuted the case. This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a Justice Department initiative designed to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse nationwide. The initiative 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.