Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announced that James Thomas Butler II (38, Jacksonville) has been arrested and charged by a federal criminal complaint with production and attempted production of child pornography. In 2001, Butler was convicted of attempted sexual battery and lascivious molestation of a minor in Jacksonville and was required to register as a sexual predator. Because of his prior sex offense conviction, Butler faces an enhanced mandatory minimum penalty of 25 years, and up to 50 years, in federal prison, and a potential lifetime of supervision. He has been in custody since his arrest on October 2, 2018. A detention hearing is scheduled for October 9, 2018.
According to the complaint, on May 2, 2018, FBI agents and other law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at a home in north Jacksonville, where several offenders and sexual predators resided. While interviewing the residents, the agents consensually obtained two smartphones from Butler, who was residing at the location. During a forensic review of one of the devices, agents discovered pornographic videos of a minor child that appeared to have been surreptitiously filmed using a hidden camera. Further investigation revealed the identity of the child and the Jacksonville residence where the production had occurred.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, and the Duval County School Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.
It is another case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. 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 locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.