Las Vegas, Nevada - A Las Vegas photographer who posed as a professional modeling photographer and sports sponsor was sentenced to 29 1/2 years in federal prison for child sexual exploitation, announced U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse for the FBI’s Las Vegas Division.
William Clyde Thompson, 58, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey. Thompson pleaded guilty in February 2019, to child exploitation enterprise, sexual exploitation of a child, conspiracy to produce child pornography, distribution of child pornography, conspiracy to distribute child pornography, and possession of child pornography. He was indicted in September 2013 in Nevada and in 2015 in Arizona. In addition to the term of imprisonment, he will be placed on a lifetime term of supervised release, he agreed to pay full restitution to his victims, and he will be required under the Sexual Offender Registration Notification Act to register as a sex offender.
According to admissions made as part of his guilty plea, in November 2011, Thompson took sexually explicit photos and videos of a 10-year-old boy under the ruse that Thompson was a professional photographer and wanted to assist the boy in getting sponsored as a professional skateboarder. In November 2012, the victim’s mother made a report to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department after a potential sponsor informed her that he believed her son was being sexually exploited by Thompson. Later that month, during the execution of search warrants at Thompson’s residence and studio, law enforcement seized multiple digital devices belonging to Thompson. A forensic examination of the devices revealed over 10,000 files of child sexual exploitation photos and videos.
In January 2013, Thompson was arrested in Nevada on child pornography charges and the state court ordered him released on house arrest. However, Thompson cut off his ankle bracelet and fled the Las Vegas area. He was later indicted on federal charges in September 2013.
While on the run from law enforcement, in the spring and summer of 2014, Thompson contacted at least six boys at the Needles California Skate Park. He identified himself as “Tony Bailor” and “Jason Brock” and told the boys he was a “scooter sponsor.” He and others provided the boys with gifts to induce their compliance and to recruit other minors to be part of the “team” that he claimed he wanted to sponsor. In reality, Thompson and others recruited the “team” with the intention to produce child pornography and to sexually abuse the boys. Over a six-month period, Thompson produced over 20,000 images and videos depicting sexually explicit content of the children.
Thompson and a co-conspirator created multiple websites to distribute the child pornography he created. Thompson would post sample child pornography photos on one of the websites and when someone purchased the photos based on the sample, he would send the purchaser a hyperlink to the child pornography files on a cloud-based service.
Thompson was arrested during a traffic stop in Mohave Valley, Arizona, in January 2015. At the time of his arrest, law enforcement found over one million images ranging from child erotica to child pornography of several victims contained on digital devices belonging to him.
The case was investigated by the FBI and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Burton and Elham Roohani prosecuted the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.