Man, 69, pleads guilty in child porn case

Published: Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 7:45 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 7:45 p.m.

A Gainesville man charged with 20 counts of possession and distribution of child pornography pleaded guilty to one count in federal court on Thursday.

Frederick Caswell, 69, of 5325 SW 81st Terrace, was arrested in May by the Gainesville-based North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

The task force, known as ICAC, uses specialized software to locate computers sharing known images of pornography, according to a statement of facts in the case against Caswell. ICAC investigators traced Caswell’s computer through Cox Communications and served a search warrant on his house on May 23.

Investigators said they found more than 100 images and videos of obscene material, including sex acts between adults and children — some as young as infants.

According to an arrest report, Caswell moved between a home in Gainesville and Canaan, N.H., during the summer months. He planned to leave for Canaan on May 30.

Because the child porn had been transported in interstate and foreign commerce by computer, the case is under federal jurisdiction.

Caswell originally pleaded not guilty to the charges, and authorities transferred his case to federal prosecutors.

He was in court to make a plea agreement — for which he would be charged with one count of receiving and distributing child pornography in exchange for a guilty plea.

U.S. District Court Judge Maurice Paul presided over the courtroom to hear Caswell’s plea. Paul told Caswell he was limited in sentencing him by the minimum and maximum sentences set by the law.

Caswell could face a minimum of five years in federal prison and a maximum of 20 years. He could pay a fine of up to $250,000 and could be subject to supervised release from prison for the rest of his life. He would also have to register as a sex offender, the judge said.

Caswell will be sentenced on March 7.

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