COLUMBUS, Ga. –A Columbus, Georgia, resident who admitted to possessing photos and videos of children being sexual abused was sentenced to serve ten years in federal prison for her crime.
Townes Ward Borum, 38, of Columbus, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 120 months in prison to be followed by ten years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Clay Land today after she previously pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography. Borum will also have to register as a sex offender for life upon her release from prison. Borum is not eligible for parole.
“This case serves as a harsh reminder of the length child predators will go to meet their needs at the cost of innocent and trusting lives,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “In collaboration with our law enforcement and community partners, we will seek justice on behalf of sexually exploited children and do everything within our power to hold predators accountable.”
“People like Borum, who sexually exploit children for monetary gain, do serious lasting harm and facilitate in the continued manufacturing and trading of child sexual abuse material,” said Rich Bilson, Supervisory Senior Resident Agent of FBI Atlanta’s Columbus office. “The FBI is committed to working with our partners to find such predators and lock them up so they can do no further harm.”
“This case shows how low predators will go to profit from innocent lives. Working with our law enforcement and prosecutorial partners, the GBI’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit remains committed to diligently investigating individuals who exploit our children,” said GBI Director Chris Hosey.
According to facts presented at court, GBI was contacted by law enforcement in New Jersey on May 20, 2022, with information that an adult female in the Middle District of Georgia was distributing nude photos of a young child to a man in their jurisdiction. The initial Cybertip leading to the New Jersey man came from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), and a subsequent investigation found digital files of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) on the man’s cell phone. The man told authorities that Borum was providing him with the CSAM material, and that they had been communicating on the Whisper app and by text message. The man said he paid Borum’s rent and other expenses in exchange for sexually explicit photos and videos of young children.
A search warrant was executed by GBI at Borum’s Columbus home on May 21, 2022. Borum’s cell phone was seized; it contained hundreds of images and videos of CSAM, including images of CSAM depicting prepubescent minors. Her phone also contained numerous messages between Borum and others discussing the exchange of child sexual abuse material for money. Agents also found online advertisements she created and posted to sell child sexual abuse material. Borum admitted to the facts in court.
The plea agreement in this case is sealed at the request of the Government for protection of minor victims.
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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The case was investigated by GBI, FBI-Atlanta, FBI-Dallas and FBI-Los Angeles, with special assistance from the Bergen County, New Jersey, District Attorney’s Office and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Crawford Seals is prosecuting the case for the Government.