Queen Anne resident John Richard Cothern, 44,was sentenced to 25 years in prison and a lifetime of supervised release last week for the distribution of child pornography, according to a Department of Justice new release. Cothern was living at 23 W. Galer St. at the time of his arrest in July 2010.
“Law enforcement identified COTHERN during an investigation of peer-to-peer file sharing of child pornography. COTHERN contacted undercover FBI agents over the internet offering to trade child pornography. Analysis of COTHERN’s computer revealed he was sharing more than 136,000 files,” according to the Department of Justice report.
Cothern had a history of offenses against children prior to his arrest last summer. In 1996 he was convicted of child molestation by the Yakima County Superior Court, and in 2001 he was convicted of possessing child pornography in the Eastern District of Washington federal court. From the DOJ release:
U.S. District Judge James L. Robart imposed the 25 year sentence saying this was a “very serious case to the Court because of [the defendant’s] prior child molestation conviction.”
According to records filed in the case, in 2009 undercover agents became aware of COTHERN’s activity. He had just completed supervised release for his earlier conviction. COTHERN was indicted in September 2010, and pleaded guilty in April 2011. COTHERN admitted to law enforcement that he had victimized several children. In the past he had sought employment as a teacher and camp counselor – positions that give him access to children.
Prosecutors requested the 25 year sentence writing to the court: “These child pornography images and videos that Mr. Cothern distributed depict real children being raped. Every time these images are viewed, and every time these images are traded, further abuse inflicted to the victim…Mr. Cothern’s conduct, and the conduct of others like him, contributes to the demand for more child pornography images. The trading of child pornography creates a network of offenders and opens up avenues for further child abuse.”
Read the rest of the Department of Justice news release here.
* Photo courtesy of the King County Sheriff’s Office.