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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Hawthorne man sentenced to 320 months in child pornography case

The 12-year-old victim lived in Gainesville, investigators said

A Hawthorne man was sentenced by a federal judge to 320 months in prison, or nearly 27 years, for possession and distribution of child pornography.

Justin Ray Crosby, 25, was sentenced to 320 months on one count of production of child pornography and 240 months on a count of distribution of child pornography. The sentences will be served at the same time.

“Crimes against children are among the most heinous types of offenses and deserving of the most significant sentences,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Coody of the Northern District of Florida.

Law enforcement in Gainesville began investigating Crosby in July 2022 after discovering the distribution of an image depicting the sexual abuse of a 12-year-old child on an instant messaging app, according to the press release.

The child, who lives in Gainesville, was interviewed and several electronic devices were analyzed, which led to Crosby’s identification. 

Investigators learned Crosby had met the girl on multiple occasions. During one encounter, Crosby filmed himself engaged in sexual activity with the child and distributed the video on social media.

“Those who produce child pornography facilitate the abuse of children and rob them of not only of their innocence but their very childhood. We will continue to work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to investigate and vigorously prosecute those who engage in such vile conduct,” Coody said.

In addition to his prison sentence, Crosby was ordered to pay $20,000 in restitution to the victim and must register as a sex offender. After the completion of his prison term, the judge also sentenced Crosby to a lifetime of supervised release.

Contact Daniel Bednar at Follow him on X @Danielbednar5.

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Daniel Bednar

Daniel Bednar is a first-year political science major and the Criminal Justice reporter for The Alligator. When he's not writing, you can find him scuba diving in the Keys or flying airplanes. 

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