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Lebanon man sentenced to nearly 20 years for child pornography

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By The Staff

Repeat child sex offender Sherman Gayle Pike Jr., 47, of Lebanon has been sentenced to 235 months in federal prison and a lifetime of supervised release for violating federal child pornography laws.

Pike pled guilty on Dec. 13, 2010, to a superseding information charging him with receipt and possession of child pornography.

According to the Kentucky State Police Sex Offender Registry, Pike had previously been convicted in Tennessee for aggravated sexual battery of a 10-year-old child. Public records also reveal a 1989 felony conviction from Mississippi concerning a charge of gratification of lust pertaining to a 12-year-old child. Pike was registered as lifetime sex offender with the Commonwealth of Kentucky at the time they committed the child pornography offenses. 

According to court records, in early 2010, a criminal investigator with the Kentucky Attorney General's Department of Criminal Investigation Cyber Crime Unit conducted a peer-to-peer undercover investigation. The investigator identified the IP address of an individual with known child pornography images for sharing. Law enforcement officials requested, obtained, and executed a state Search Warrant on a residence in Nelson County on Feb. 1, 2010.

Law enforcement officials identified Pike as the person responsible for the child pornography. They seized two computers and several pieces of storage media from Pike's residence. A forensic examination revealed numerous images (both still and video) of child pornography on the computers and computer diskettes.  On one computer, the examiner found files containing child pornography that had been acquired over the Internet. Pike knowingly received the images on Jan. 30, 2010, using a peer-to-peer program, LimeWire. The program allows users around the world to exchange files over the Internet. Pike knowingly possessed the child pornography images contained on the computer diskettes on Feb. 1, 2010.  The images had been obtained using the Internet and were transferred to the computer diskettes.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney's Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jo E. Lawless and was investigated by the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General, Department of Criminal Investigation Cyber Crimes Branch.