South Georgia man sentenced to federal prison over child sex crime

VALDOSTA, Ga. — A Valdosta man was sentenced to six and a half years in federal prison for possessing sexual child abuse material of extremely young minors.

An investigation into James Spencer Cochran, 50, began after a young woman claimed he took suspicious photos of her at her workplace.

“A teenager reported that her privacy had been violated by a customer at her workplace; her call resulted in a child predator being held accountable for possessing child sexual abuse material of young children,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “I want to thank this concerned citizen for speaking up, and I am grateful that the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI swiftly launched an investigation which held this predator accountable.”

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In May 2018, Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office deputies investigated a complaint from a young woman who stated that one of her customers, Cochran, was taking suspicious photos of her with his phone at the restaurant where she worked.

Cochran was interviewed and consented to a search of his phone, where agents found photos of the woman, as well as multiple photos of fully clothed, prepubescent females and girls under the age of 12.

Cochran admitted there were some minors and “a little nudity” on his personal computer at his home, and consented to a search of his devices.

With the assistance of FBI’s Computer Analysis Response Team and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, agents identified 16 videos and 87 images containing child sexual abuse material, mostly of minors under the age of 12 years old.


Cochran told investigators he would download images, view them and then delete them because he knew it was illegal.

Cochran was sentenced to serve 78 months in prison followed by 15 years of supervised release and $4,500 in restitution to a victim after he pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child sexual abuse material.

Cochran will have to register as a sex offender for life upon his release from prison.

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