Muncie man sentenced to 50 years in child pornography case

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Joel Hilton

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MUNCIE, Ind. (Feb. 20, 2015)– A Muncie man faces 50 years in jail after being sentenced in federal court Friday for his role in the production and distribution of child pornography.

In July 2014, investigators found that Joel D. Hilton, 42, of Muncie, had access to a website that was being used to trade child pornography. Investigators examined the photographs and determined from the background that many of the pictures were taken in Muncie.

The victims were sisters, seven and eight years old. Hilton had produced pornographic images by photographing the victims in sexually explicit activities. He would then post the images to a website to be traded with others in his networking group.

Investigators spoke to Hilton at his home home and noticed a tattoo on his hand similar to those depicted on the pornographic photos. He was then placed under arrest. Law enforcement confiscated electronic devices used to produce and distribute the pornography.

Hilton was sentenced to 50 years by U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.

“Protecting our innocent children from internet predators will remain a top priority of our office,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler. “Producing and distributing pornography re-victimizes our children every time it is passed from one person to another.”

Hilton has multiple prior convictions for sex crimes and faces lifetime supervised release after serving his sentence.

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