Boyd County Man Sentenced to 30 Years for Production of Child Pornography

For Immediate Release

U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Kentucky
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ASHLAND, Ky. – An Ashland man, Jonathan Michael Whitt, 35, was sentenced on Monday, to 30 years in prison, by U.S. District Judge David Bunning, for production of child pornography.

According to his plea agreement, on May 8, 2022, law enforcement discovered sexually explicit photos of Whitt and a minor victim.  Subsequent investigation revealed that Whitt and the minor had a sexual relationship, from 2011 to 2013, and that Whitt had taken sexually explicit images of the victim during that time.  During a separate investigation, law enforcement also discovered that Whitt was trading child sexual abuse material with others, by joining online groups and sending and receiving links to hundreds of images and videos of child pornography. 

Under federal law, Whitt must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence.  Upon his release from prison, he will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for 20 years.

Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Michael E. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Louisville Field Office; Rana Saoud, Special Agent in Charge, Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Phillip J. Burnett, Commissioner of the Kentucky State Police (KSP); and Chief Todd Kelley, Ashland Police Department, jointly announced the sentence.

The investigation was conducted by FBI, HSI, KSP, and Ashland Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin Roth is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted this case as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (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. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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Top photo credit: Adobe Stock

https://www.justice.gov/usao-edky/pr/boyd-county-man-sentenced-30-years-production-child-pornography