U.S. Attorney’s Office
March 21, 2012
Northern District of Georgia
Department of Education Employee, Former Navy Sailor Both Sentenced for Involvement with Child Pornography
ATLANTA—JOSEPH BUTLER, 66, of Clarkston, Georgia, and SPENCER DUNCAN, 23, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, were sentenced this week in unrelated cases for their involvement in the child pornography trade. BUTLER, a career employee at the U.S. Department of Education, was sentenced to 10 years for collecting child pornography using his government computer. DUNCAN, a former Navy seaman, was sentenced to six years, six months for distributing child pornography to an undercover agent.
“These two cases illustrate the important point that consumers and purveyors of child pornography can be found everywhere. Both defendants had worked in service to our country and yet were collecting or distributing photographs of children being sexually abused,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.
BUTLER was sentenced today by United States District Judge Thomas W. Thrash, Jr. to 10 years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release.
DUNCAN was sentenced on March 20, 2012 by United States District Judge Julie E. Carnes to six years, six months in prison, to be followed by 10 years of supervised release.
BUTLER and DUNCAN pleaded guilty in December 2011.
According to United States Attorney Yates and information presented in the public record: BUTLER, a career employee with the Department of Education, used his work computer to download child pornography from the Internet onto CD-ROMs, which he then took home. In July 2011, federal agents executed a search warrant at BUTLER’s home, where they found the CD-ROMs of child pornography along with boxes full of children’s clothes and toys and a collection of self-authored stories that described in graphic detail young children having sex with adults and animals.
DUNCAN, a former Navy seaman, was caught when an undercover FBI agent was able to download sexually explicit images of minors from DUNCAN’s computer. DUNCAN had created an account on a peer-to-peer file sharing network and made his collection of child pornography available to others. The FBI found thousands of such images and dozens of videos on DUNCAN’s computer when they executed a search warrant at his house.
Both BUTLER and DUNCAN will be required to register as sex offenders in whatever community they reside upon release from federal prison.
This case is being prosecuted as a priority of the Justice Department’s Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Attorney General launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices around the country, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children.
BUTLER’s case was investigated by specia agents of the Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General. DUNCAN’s case was investigated by special agents of the FBI.
Assistant United States Attorney Robert C. McBurney prosecuted the case.