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Chatham man indicted on multiple child sexual exploitation charges

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Sheldon Jason Burch Submitted photo Sheldon Jason Burch

A Chatham County man has been indicted on multiple federal charges alleging sexual exploitation of children.

Sheldon Jason Burch, 49, of Savannah, is being held in the Chatham County Detention Center after being arrested on a criminal complaint, and now has been indicted on three counts of Production of Child Pornography, and one count each of Receipt of Child Pornography and Possession of Child Pornography, said Jill E. Steinberg, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.



Conviction on the production charges carries a statutory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison, up to 30 years, while receipt carries a mandatory minimum sentence upon conviction of five years, up to 20, and the penalty upon conviction for possession of child pornography is up to 20 years in prison. There is no parole in the federal system, and conviction on any of the charges could include substantial financial penalties and restitution, a requirement to register as a sex offender, and a period of supervised release following any prison term.



Criminal indictments contain only charges; defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.



"Criminal allegations involving the sexual exploitation of children are horrific, particularly when they involve subjecting minor victims to portrayal in pornographic images," said U.S. Attorney Steinberg. "The creation and continued viewing of those images is tremendously traumatizing to victims, and our office works diligently to protect them and hold their abusers accountable."



The indictment alleges that Burch, from on or about June 2006 through 2016, produced sexually explicit images of three minor victims, and up until June 2023 received and possessed additional images of child sexual exploitation.



Investigators are seeking information on other unidentified potential victims found on images in electronic devices seized from Burch's residence, located on Cowan Avenue in Savannah, and are asking anyone who might have had contact with Burch to call the FBI Savannah Resident Agency at 877-644-0277. Investigators believe that many of the explicit images of the child victims in this case were taken at Burch's residence over a period of several years.



The case is being investigated by the FBI and the Chatham County Police Department, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorney and Project Safe Childhood Coordinator Jason W. Blanchard.



Anyone with information on suspected child sexual exploitation can contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 800-843-5678, or https://report.cybertip.org/.

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