CHARLOTTE — A Boone man was sentenced in federal court Thursday, Feb. 18, for child pornography charges, according to the Department of Justice.

Joshua Wayne Clemons, 40, was sentenced to 25 years in prison on distribution of child pornography and possession of child pornography by U.S. District Judge Kenneth D. Bell, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina Andrew Murray announced. Prosecuting the case were Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emily Wasserman and Mark Odulio.

Clemons was also ordered to pay a $52,000 special assessment fee, to serve a lifetime of supervised release and to register as a sex offender after he is released from prison.

Clemons was arrested as a result of an investigation by the Boone Police Department, Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and State Bureau of Investigation.

According to information contained in filed documents and statements made in court, in October 2019, law enforcement determined that an individual, later identified as Clemons, was using a peer-to-peer network to download and transmit child pornography. In November 2019, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Clemons’ residence and seized numerous computer devices and a cell phone.

A forensic review of the seized devices revealed that they contained more than 755 images depicting the sexual abuse of children. On Aug. 11, 2020, Clemons pleaded guilty to possession and distribution and attempted distribution of child pornography.

At the sentencing hearing, Judge Bell enhanced Clemons’ sentence, based on Clemons’ prior convictions of indecent liberties with a child.

According to information from the Sex Offender Registry, Clemons was convicted of indecent liberties with a minor in December 1999. Boone Police states that the victim in that incident was 12 years old at the time of the offense. Additionally, court records show that Clemons was convicted of sexual battery and assault on a female in Forsyth County on Oct. 3, 2016. The victim in that case was also a minor.

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