The following is a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Western District of North Carolina on Wednesday, August 17, 2022.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A Waxhaw, North Carolina, man was sentenced today for producing child pornography, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. U.S. District Judge Frank D. Whitney ordered Jason Lance Thrower, 43, to serve 27 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release, and to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison term. Thrower was also ordered to pay $55,100 in special assessments.
Ronnie Martinez, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in North Carolina and South Carolina, and Sheriff Eddie Cathey of the Union County Sheriff’s Office join U.S. Attorney King in making this announcement.
According to filed court documents, court proceedings, and Thrower’s admissions in court, on October 29, 2020, a concerned individual contacted the Union County Sheriff’s Office to report that Thrower possessed sexually explicit images of minors. Law enforcement initiated an investigation into Thrower and determined that the defendant had used a hidden camera to secretly record two minor females while they were undressing and showering. Over the course of the investigation, Thrower’s cell phone and other electronic devices were seized. HSI conducted a forensic analysis of the seized items which revealed multiple images and videos of the minor victims in the bathroom while nude and at various stages of undress, images of the children posing in their underwear, and other sexually suggestive images of the minors.
According to information filed in court documents and statements in court, Thrower also sexually molested a minor victim on multiple occasions. At the sentencing hearing today, the government argued that Thrower’s sexual abuse of the minor was an aggravating factor the Court should consider in determining its punishment. In handing down the sentence of 27 years imprisonment, Judge Whitney noted that the victims in this case would carry their pain for life.
Thrower has been in federal custody since February 2021. He will remain in federal custody until he is transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.
In making today’s announcement U.S. Attorney King commended HSI and the Union County Sheriff’s Office for their investigation of the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark T. Odulio of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte handled the sentencing hearing. Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Cortney S. Randall handled the investigation and prosecution.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice, aimed at combating the growing online sexual exploitation of children. By combining resources, federal, state and local agencies are better able to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue those victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov
Anyone with information on suspected child sexual exploitation can contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1- 800-843-5678), or https://report.cybertip.org