The 39-year-old Athens man faces up to 20 years in federal prison for his guilty plea.
ATHENS, Ga. — An ex-University of Georgia professor who admitted to possessing hundreds of images of child pornography entered a guilty plea in federal court on Tuesday, according to Peter D. Leary, the acting US Attorney for Georgia’s middle district.
Leary said 39-year-old James Edward Monogan III of Athens pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography before US District Court Judge C. Ashley Royal. Monogan faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, followed by a maximum lifetime of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. He will also have to register as a sex offender.
A sentencing date for Monogan has not yet been scheduled. There is no parole in the federal penal system.
“Monogan actively participated in the evil world of child pornography and brazenly engaged in his criminal behavior using a computer belonging to his employer. He will spend many years inside a federal prison for his crime, ” said Acting U.S. Attorney Leary. “I want to thank our law enforcement partners for tirelessly working to protect the most vulnerable members of our society and holding child sex offenders accountable.”
According to his plea agreement, Homeland Security Investigations‘ Atlanta Office received information in 2019 that a user of the KIK Messenger app had distributed child pornography in February 2019. HSI-Atlanta learned of a second child pornography complaint for a second KIK user.
Investigators determined that both usernames belonged to Monogan.
On Sept. 5, 2019, HSI, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the Athens-Clarke County Police Department executed a search warrant at Monogan’s home in Athens, and seized several electronic devices.
In addition, Monogan’s office at UGA was also searched, Leary said.
A forensic review of Monogan’s devices determined that a total of 452 images and eight videos depicting child sexual exploitation were found on his UGA laptop, along with an additional 119 images of child sexual exploitation on his cell phone. Some images involved minors under the age of 12, the evidence indicated.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims.
More information can be found regarding Project Safe Childhood at www.projectsafechildhood.gov.