WILMINGTON, N.C. –– William McCoy was sentenced today to 90 months in prison for receipt of child pornography.  McCoy, 26, pled guilty to the charge on July 27, 2022.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, on February 24, 2021, Investigators at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point received a CyberTip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding activity on Facebook Messenger.  The user had been identified as William McCoy, who was then a lance corporal stationed at Cherry Point. 

The CyberTip showed that in chats dated January 31, 2021, McCoy and 16-year-old female Victim-1 had discussed previously having sexual intercourse.  McCoy referred to a video recording of the encounter and had instructed Victim-1 to watch a video. 

On March 2, 2021, an NCIS agent obtained command authorization to search McCoy and his living space, including digital devices.  Agents met McCoy at his commanding officer’s office and seized from McCoy’s person a Samsung Galaxy Note phone. 

McCoy waived his rights and agreed to a video recorded interview.  He stated he had dated Victim-1, who he claimed was 22 years old.  He stated that they had been dating for six months and were sexually active.  McCoy gave permission for his phone to be searched, and agents saw multiple sexually explicit photos of Victim-1, as well as a video in which McCoy and Victim-1 are masturbating together over the video chat application Google Duo. 

Agents found a phone number for Victim-1, who they contacted and confirmed was currently 17 years old.  McCoy admitted that he lied about Victim-1’s age, that he found out her true age in November 2020, and that they had sexual intercourse in December 2020.

A digital forensic examiner reviewed McCoy’s Samsung Galaxy Note cellphone and found over 50 image files and 150 video files that appeared to depict Victim-1 in child exploitative poses.  Of these, 11 images and 47 videos were confirmed to be child pornography based on content through which the subject could be identified as Victim-1 and therefore a minor.  It is believed that all photos were of Victim-1; no other minors were identified within the photos.   

Subsequent investigation determined that McCoy had solicited, and in some cases received, sexual photos from at least three other minor females who were connected to Victim-1.  At the same time, McCoy sent photos and videos depicting his penis to minor females, and some were able to describe his military quarters to investigators. 

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by Chief U.S. District Judge Richard E. Myers II. Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Jake D. Pugh  prosecuted.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the 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. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

A copy of this press release is located on our website. Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:22-cr-00001-M.