Florida man sentenced to 220 years in prison for producing, distributing, possessing child sex abuse materials

Samuel Arthur Thompson, 53, of St. Augustine, was sentenced to 220 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release on child sex abuse charges.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
A Florida man has been sentenced to 220 years in prison after federal authorities discovered he had been producing, distributing, and possessing child sex abuse materials while being a registered sex offender.

Samuel Arthur Thompson, 53, of St. Augustine, was sentenced on Thursday in Jacksonville by US District Judge Brian J. Davis to 220 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release.

Thompson was found guilty of producing, receiving, and possessing child sex abuse materials, producing child sex abuse materials while required to register as a sex offender, and violating the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), according to the Department of Justice.

Additionally, he was found guilty of sending unauthorized damaging commands to a protected computer and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. Thompson was ordered by the court to surrender his firearm and forfeit computers that had been used in the offenses. He was convicted by a federal jury on Nov. 17, 2023.

In 1998, Thompson was convicted of sodomizing a 14-year-old male child in Alabama. He was required to register as a sex offender and was prohibited from possessing firearms as a convicted felon. Thompson was also required to report his international travels.

In 2013, Thompson was hired by the Jacksonville Jaguars on the design and installation of their Jumbotron video board network and operated it on gamedays. Thompson did not disclose his conviction despite the Jaguars' contract requiring him to do so. After learning of Thompson's conviction and sex offender status, the Jaguars declined to renew his contract in January 2018.

Thompson put remote access software on a Jaguars server room spare server before his contract expired in March 2018. Thompson then remotely hacked Jumbotron computers for three 2018 NFL games, causing visual boards to malfunction.

The Jaguars created a "honeypot" on December 16, 2018, by isolating the server from the jumbotron's other machines in an attempt to catch the perpetrator. The spare server was remotely accessed again during the next NFL game. The Jaguars captured the intruder's IP address, which the FBI linked to Thompson's home.

Thompson's laptops were taken by the FBI in July 2019 after a federal search warrant, and according to log files, he had remotely accessed the spare server using his iPhone, iPad, and two PCs.

During the search warrant, the FBI also found thousands of photographs and hundreds of films on Thompson's devices of child sexual abuse, bondage and torture of children, and bestiality.

Thompson had produced a series of images and videos of child sex abuse in June 2019 that had been taken from his living, according to court documents. Thompson's iPad showed that he was exploring the dark web for child sex abuse material when the FBI arrived at his home with the search warrant.

After interviewing three male children known to Thompson in 2019, it was revealed that Thompson had molested two of them, exposed himself to them, exposed the children to child sex abuse material, talked to them about sex and masturbation, and encouraged them to play a "game" where they had to take off their clothes and run around.

Court documents show that Thompson created child sex abuse material while the kids played the "game." The children were ages 7, 8, and 10 years old.

Thompson worked in The Bahamas from July 6 to 14, 2019. He registered as a sex offender on July 15, 2019, but failed to notify his travel as required by SORNA. He also obtained child sex abuse material on the dark web the day he re-registered as a sex offender.

Thompson then escaped to the Philippines on July 27, 2019. On January 31, 2020, Thompson was arrested by the FBI upon arrival in the US and jailed pending trial after his passport was canceled and he was deported from the Philippines.

Further FBI investigation found that Thompson had sexually assaulted two more children, including one he met while fleeing prosecution in July 2019.
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