ATLANTA—RUSSELL E. WORSHAM, 44, of Macon, Georgia, was sentenced today by United States District Judge J. Owen Forrester to serve the rest of his life in federal prison on the charge of using the Internet to attempt to entice a child to engage in sexual activity.
“This defendant trolled the Internet searching for child victims,” said Sally Quillian Yates, United States Attorney. “His conduct was more than mere words. A brave victim testified during trial that from the time she was 9 until she was 12, this dangerous predator repeatedly sexually assaulted her. On the day of his arrest, the defendant intended to rape a 7-year-old girl. But for the hard work of the investigators, the defendant likely would still be out there, searching for his next victim. Today’s sentence serves as a stern warning to those who might follow in this defendant’s path. This office will continue to aggressively pursue and prosecute those who use the Internet to victimize children.”
Brian D. Lamkin, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated, “The FBI has, over the years, dedicated many investigative resources to child exploitation matters such as this through its Innocent Images and Crimes Against Children programs, with the overall goal of protecting young, vulnerable children from those who would exploit them and do them harm. Mr. Worsham is a child predator who will no longer be in a position to harm children and the FBI is proud of the role it played in removing this individual from our streets.”
WORSHAM was sentenced to life in prison. WORSHAM was convicted of these charges on September 21, 2010, after a five-day trial.
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court: In October 2008, WORSHAM befriended a woman online whom he believed to have a 7-year-old daughter. This woman—actually an undercover FBI task force agent—told WORSHAM that she was willing to make her fictitious daughter available to WORSHAM for sex. Over the next three months, in hours of online chats, over two dozen e-mails, and five telephone calls, WORSHAM engaged in graphic and sexually explicit conversations about his planned rape of the 7-year-old girl. These online communications and telephone conversations culminated in WORSHAM arranging to meet with the mother and her 7-year-old daughter. Agents arrested him when he showed up for the meeting. Agents recovered crayons, a spanking tool, a web camera, a studded dog collar, and virtual child pornography from WORSHAM’s van. During trial, a victim testified that when she was between the ages of 9 and 12, WORSHAM had repeatedly sexually assaulted her.
This case was investigated by agents and officers of the Atlanta Safe Child Task Force, which is led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Atlanta Division.
Assistant United States Attorneys Kim S. Dammers and Ryan Scott Ferber prosecuted the case.
This case is being brought as part of 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 Attorney’s Offices around the country, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
For further information please contact Sally Q. Yates, United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney’s Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.