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Police & Fire

Philadelphia Officer Gets 14 Years For Distributing Child Porn While On Duty

Philadelphia police
Philadelphia police Photo Credit: Philadelphia Police Facebook photo

A 49-year-old Philadelphia police officer was sentenced to 14 years in state prison, 20 years of supervised release and ordered to pay more than $100,000 for distributing child pornography while on duty, federal officials said..

James Strohm, 49, was also ordered to pay $79,000 in restitution and more than $27,000 in special assessments by United States District Court Judge Gerald A. McHugh,  First Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams said.

Strohm, a 20-year member of the Philadelphia Police Department, in July 2019 pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography and one count of distribution of child pornography, Williams said.

The charges stemmed from a tip submitted to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children from a gaming and social networking application regarding a user account, “fungirl12321,” containing thousands of images depicting child pornography, Williams said.

A phone number and IP address connected to the account were associated with Strohm. 

Investigators then determined that Strohm was viewing, downloading and distributing child pornography -- including during hours when he was officially working as a Philadelphia police officer, authorities said.

“The defendant abused his position of power and trust by distributing images involving the sexual exploitation of children, some as young as infants,” Williams said. 

“James Strohm not only committed these crimes from his home, but also, abhorrently, while on duty as a police officer. He will now spend years behind bars where he will be unable to exploit the suffering of children any longer.”

“James Strohm was viewing child sexual abuse material while employed as a police officer, at times even from police workspace,” said Michael J. Driscoll, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Philadelphia Division. 

“He violated his sworn oath and broke the law in a particularly disturbing way. Today's sentencing sends a message that, no matter who you are, if you're perpetuating the exploitation of children by seeking and trading this horrific content, the FBI will step in, put a stop to it, and see you brought to justice.”

This case is part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce the sexual exploitation and abuse of children.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Meaghan A. Flannery.

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