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Massachusetts man convicted of raping children, sentenced for possessing child pornography

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Children’s clothing, mutilated dolls and diapers found at defendant’s home.

“BOSTON – A lifetime Level 2 sex offender previously convicted of child rape was sentenced today for possessing more than 5,000 files of child sexual abuse material (CSAM).

Eric Robert Johnson, 51, of Billerica, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper to 10 years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release. Johnson was also ordered to pay restitution and forfeiture in the amount of $38,000. On Jan. 29, 2024, Johnson pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography. He has remained in federal custody since his arrest in February 2022.

“Mr. Johnson is an extremely dangerous individual who has repeatedly demonstrated his predatory interest in children. He belongs in prison for a long time,” said Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy. “The victims of child pornography are not abstractions or objects – they are real kids who experienced sexual exploitation in order for these pictures or images to be distributed and possessed. Although today’s sentence cannot erase the ongoing pain endured by the victims from their traumatic abuse, the message about the severe consequences of possessing child pornography should be crystal clear.”

“This lifetime sex offender admitted to amassing thousands of images of babies, toddlers, and children suffering horrific sexual abuse, and today’s sentence reflects the severity and depravity of his crime,” said Jodi Cohen Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division. “Those photos and videos represent unimaginable pain forced upon utterly vulnerable victims, some too young to walk or talk. It’s cases like this that drive the FBI and our partners, as we work to protect the children in our communities from predators like Eric Johnson.”

In early 2022, Johnson was identified as a user of an internet-based peer-to-peer network downloading CSAM. Searches of Johnson’s person and residence in February and March of 2022 resulted in the recovery of 25 electronic devices including a laptop, hard drives and other electronic devices. Multiple hard drives were found hidden next to Johnson’s bed as well as hidden inside Johnson’s basement ceiling, shelves, cabinets and in an ammunition can located in a crawl space at the residence. At the time of the search, the laptop was running a program to wipe, delete or remove files from an attached hard drive and was approximately 56% complete before being disabled by an on-scene forensic examiner.

Also found at Johnson’s residence were two children’s backpacks from under his bed that contained various children’s clothing including bathing suits and a nightgown; a bag of children’s costumes; children’s diapers throughout; and at least three child-sized dolls each with the vaginal region sliced to make a hole. What appeared to be bodily fluids were found in at least two of the dolls.

A subsequent forensic examination revealed over 5,000 files depicting CSAM on seven of the seized devices, including images and video files depicting the sexual abuse and rape of minor victims as young as infants and toddlers. Many other disturbing items were also located on the devices, including images and videos of bestiality, photos of women’s deceased bodies, as well as videos of Johnson engaging in sexual acts with dolls. Further forensic examination determined that 15 of the seized devices were encrypted or had hardware and could not be searched.

Johnson was previously convicted in 1992 on state charges in New Hampshire of two counts of Aggravated Felonious Sexual Assault of a Child Under 13 Years of Age for his sexual abuse and rape of two minor victims who, at the time, were seven and eight-years-old.

Acting U.S. Attorney Levy, FBI SAC Cohen and Billerica Police Chief Roy Frost made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Suzanne Sullivan Jacobus, Luke A. Goldworm and J. Mackenzie Duane of the Criminal Division prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit https://www.justice.gov/psc.”-Massachusetts Department of Justice.

About Michael Silvia

Served 20 years in the United States Air Force. Owner of New Bedford Guide.

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