years ago, Dwight Whorley went to a local
office of the Virginia Employment Commission
(VEC) in Richmond, ostensibly to look
for jobs online. Instead, he used the
state’s computer to download and
send Japanese “anime” cartoons
showing graphic acts of child pornography.
Because of a 2003 federal obscenity
law, that’s illegal .
The law, designed to help protect children
from sexual exploitation, makes it
a federal crime to produce or distribute
obscene drawings, cartoons, paintings,
or any other visual representations
involving the sexual abuse of children.
On December 1, Whorley—who had
spent time in jail on previous federal
child pornography charges—became
the first person in the U.S. to be convicted
under the 2003 law. On Friday (March
10), he was sentenced to 20 years in
prison and fined $7,400.
How’d he get caught? Alert
employees at the VEC saw Whorley print
the images, and they told a supervisor.
The supervisor called the police, who
contacted us. Our computer experts in
Richmond and from the Child Exploitation
and Obscenity Section of the U.S. Department
of Justice extracted evidence from the
computer, and a Japanese linguist at
FBI headquarters translated the text
of the cartoons to provide further proof
of the cartoons’ content.
FBI Agent Gerald Kim, who led our investigation
in Richmond, said the cartoons were extremely
graphic. “There was no doubt about
what was being depicted,” Kim said.
The Japanese anime was just
part of the case against Whorley. Our
cyber experts found digital photographs
of child porn on the same VEC computer.
Whorley had also used it to send explicit
e-mails to a young girl and for other
e-mails describing the sexual abuse
of children—further violations
of federal obscenity laws. In the end,
we were able to link Whorley to the
pornography, e-mails and other evidence
on the computer. He was convicted of
a total of 74 counts of obscenity and
“We worked on this day and night
to verify that he was the person using
that specific computer at certain times,” Kim
But our work didn’t stop
there. By examining the computer
Whorley used, our agents were able
to identify and track down other peddlers
of child pornography, leading to a
recent arrest by agents from our St.
Joseph, Michigan, office near Detroit.
Other cases are in motion.
can you help protect your children
from becoming victims of sexual exploitation? Check
Parent’s Guide to Internet
and other resources on our Online
Child Pornography Program webpage,
Against Children webpage, and the Department
of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity
U.S. Attorney Press Release