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Child porn plea nets Hawkins man eight year sentence

Jeff Bobo • Oct 14, 2019 at 2:14 PM

ROGERSVILLE — A Hawkins County man who allegedly created a Tumblr account last year that he used to store and share more than 100 child porn images was sentenced Friday in Hawkins County Criminal Court to eight years.

Justin Powell Norton, 25, 734 Ordnance Drive, Church Hill, pleaded guilty Friday before Judge John Dugger to one count of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Due to the severity of the charge, the law requires Norton to serve 100 percent of his sentence in prison. 

At the conclusion of his plea, Norton asked Dugger, “When I go away, can I get help?”

Norton was arrested in June after Tumblr reported his account to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office was then notified and conducted an investigation with the assistance of Tumblr, Charter Communications and the NCMEC.

The aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor charge related to possession of more than 100 images of child pornography on Norton’s Tumblr account, and the sexual exploitation of a minor charge was for making that Tumblr account accessible to the public.

Tumblr is a social networking website that allows users to post photos and other multimedia to a personalized blog.

After Tumblr reported the child porn site to the NCMEC, the agency was able to determine the jurisdiction where the site originated.

The HCSO then got a subpoena to acquire a name from Charter Communications associated with the Internet Protocol (IP) address used with that Tumblr account.

According to court records, Norton would go to another website to download child pornography, then upload it to his Tumblr account.

In his written statement, Norton told the HCSO he put the child porn images on Tumblr as “share,” allowing other people to view them.

In response to Norton’s question about receiving help in prison, Dugger noted that any available help for him would depend on which prison Norton is sent to by the Department of Corrections

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