HOUSTON—Houston resident Burt Hughes, 58, has been sentenced to 360 months in prison following his convictions for distribution and possession of child pornography, United States Attorney Ken Magidson announced today.
Following the investigation, evidence proved that Hughes was distributing child pornography images through peer-to-peer software using his home computer. Initially, the La Porte Police Department downloaded several images of child pornography from Hughes. The images were sent to the FBI Innocent Images Task Force and a search warrant was issued and executed at his residence. At that time, several computers were seized and subsequent forensic analysis revealed more than 560 videos containing child pornography.
At the time he committed these crimes, Hughes was a already a registered sex offender. In 1986, he was convicted in Orange County, Texas, of indecency with a child. Upon serving that sentence, he molested another child and was once again convicted.
Those previous convictions involving child sex crimes required a minimum of 15 years to a maximum of 40 on the distribution charge and 10-20 years for the possession charge. United States District Court Judge Gray Miller sentenced Hughes in federal court today to 360 and 240 months for the distribution and possession charges, respectively, which will be served concurrently.
Following completion of that lenghty prison term, Hughes will be on supervised release for life. Additionally, Judge Miller ordered that he pay $2000 in restitution to a victim whose images were found on Hughes’ computer as well as a $5000 fine.
This case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherri L. Zack, 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, 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.