Washington, DC - A Washington, D.C., man was sentenced Wednesday to over 17 years in prison for advertising videos and images of children being sexually abused.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin of the District of Columbia and Special Agent in Charge James A. Dawson of the FBI’s Washington Field Office made the announcement.

Simon Walker, 34, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Carl J. Nichols of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Walker pleaded guilty on Oct. 8, 2019, to one count of advertising child pornography.  In addition to his prison sentence, he was sentenced to 20 years of supervised release and ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution to the victims.

According to admissions made in connection with his plea agreement and other court filings, Walker was the creator and administrator of online chat groups devoted to the trading of child pornography. In addition to uploading images of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct, Walker encouraged other members of the groups to distribute child pornography, warning them that they would be removed from the groups if they did not contribute to the online community of offenders, and encouraged the ongoing sexual abuse of an infant by a co-administrator.

Forensic examination of his electronic devices, pursuant to a federal search warrant executed at his residence in May 2018, uncovered hundreds of videos and images of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Walker was arrested by the FBI on July 12, 2018, was ordered detained by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and has remained in custody since that time.

The FBI Washington Field Office’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, composed of FBI agents and local, state and federal partners, investigated the case.  Trial Attorney Jessica Urban of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jodi Lazarus of the District of Columbia are prosecuting the case. 

This investigation was a 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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and 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.