An Augusta man was sentenced Thursday to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to persuading a child take sexually explicit photos.
Tibius Edwards, 26, was sentenced to 15 years in prison by U.S. District Court Chief Judge J. Randal Hall, according to a news release from Jill E. Steinberg, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.
Hall also ordered Edwards to register as a sex offender and serve 20 years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.
FBI agents interviewed Edwards in 2019 after receiving a child’s phone from their mother, according to the release. Photos on the phone led investigators to Edwards, who persuaded the child to take and send sexually explicit photos via an online messaging application.
“There is an epidemic in this country of adult predators contacting and befriending children online and persuading them to produce sexually explicit images of themselves,” Steinberg wrote in the release. “The vigilance of a caring adult rescued the victim from further harm and this sentence ensures Tibius Edwards will no longer be a danger to the community.”
Anyone with information about 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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This article originally appeared on Augusta Chronicle: Augusta man sentenced for producing child pornography