Man sentenced to 15 years for federal child exploitation

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By Calen McKinney


A former Campbellsville man has been sentenced to serve federal prison time after more than 2,000 explicit photos of children were found on his computer.

Michael William Bolter, 42, pleaded guilty last year to violating federal child exploitation laws and was sentenced on Monday to serve 15 years in federal prison for his crimes.

According to a United States Attorney's Office news release, Bolter will also serve 15 years of supervised release after he completes his prison sentence.

A lifetime registered sex offender, he pleaded guilty in November to distributing and possessing child pornography.

The federal charges stem from a Taylor County Sheriff's Office undercover operation that led to the confiscation of Bolter's computer.

A Taylor County Sheriff's Department news release states that deputies discovered Bolter had photos and videos depicting children in sexual performances.

After Bolter was arrested for allegedly moving from Campbellsville to Lebanon without reporting a change in his address, his vehicle and computer were seized.

On Jan. 30, 2013, according to the report, deputies examined Bolter's computer and found 1,021 photos and videos of children ages 1 to 15 being sexually abused and about 900 child erotic images.

After the undercover investigation, Bolter was charged with 1,021 counts of possession of matter portraying the sexual performance of a minor and 1,021 counts of prohibited use of electronic means to procure a minor in reference to a sexual offense. The offenses are Class D felonies, punishable by as much as five years in prison each.

Bolter pleaded not guilty to the charges in February 2013. However, last March, a federal criminal complaint was issued against Bolter. According to that complaint, he attempted to transport child pornography in Taylor County in December 2012.

Last April, Bolter was charged in the federal indictment and arrested.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office news release, while working online in an undercover capacity on Dec. 19, 2012, Taylor County Sheriff's Detective Brian Pickard saw an IP address for a computer that had been sharing images of child pornography. Pickard downloaded numerous child pornography filed from the computer.

Law enforcement officials later identified Bolter as the person using the computer to trade child pornography.

During an interview conducted during the execution of a search warrant, Bolter admitted that child pornography images would be on his computer. A forensic examination of the computer found more than 2,000 images and 50 movie files containing child pornography.

Assistant U. S. Attorney Jo E. Lawless prosecuted the case. Taylor County Sheriff's Department and the Louisville division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, both members of the Kentucky Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, conducted the investigation.

The case against Bolter was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.

If convicted by a jury in his federal case, Bolter faced a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 30 years in prison and as much as lifetime supervised release. He also faced as much as $500,000 in fines.

Bolter moved to Campbellsville from Ohio, according to the Kentucky State Police Online Sex Offender Registry. He was originally convicted of selling sexual material to a minor and possession of child pornography in Massachusetts.

Sex offender registry records state that he is incarcerated at the Grayson County Jail in Leitchfield, though the jail's records don't list him as an inmate there.