A tip made to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children regarding user account "fungirl12321" on a social network and gaming app led to the arrest of 20-year Philadelphian police officer veteran James Strohm.
The user account contained thousands of child pornography images and the IP address and phone number used to create the account was registered to 49-year-old Strohm. An investigation concluded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation found that Strohm not only downloaded child pornography but distributed it as well, even while on shift as a police officer in Philadelphia.
Strohm pled guilty to one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography in July of 2019. On January 6, 2021, Strohm was sentenced to 172 months in prison (14+ months). He must also pay $79,000 in restitution, $27,000 in special assessments and will be subject to 20 years of supervised release following the end of his sentence.
A press release on FBI.gov by First Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams states:
“The defendant abused his position of power and trust by distributing images involving the sexual exploitation of children, some as young as infants. James Strohm not only committed these crimes from his home, but also, abhorrently, while on duty as a police officer. He will now spend years behind bars where he will be unable to exploit the suffering of children any longer.”
Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Philadelphia division also provided the following statement in the press release:
“James Strohm was viewing child sexual abuse material while employed as a police officer, at times even from police workspace. He violated his sworn oath and broke the law in a particularly disturbing way. Today's sentencing sends a message that, no matter who you are, if you're perpetuating the exploitation of children by seeking and trading this horrific content, the FBI will step in, put a stop to it, and see you brought to justice.”
The press release further states that the case is a part of Project Safe Childhood. PSC is a Department of Justice initiative that was formed in 2006 to help reduce technology-facilitated sexual exploitation of children. According to the PSC Factsheet, over 11,000 individuals have been convicted of federal charges stemming from the sexual exploitation of minors since 2007. 64 of those sentences have been life sentences.