SAVANNAH, GA (WSAV) – On Tuesday, Nov. 10, Lance Lightner, 24, was sentenced to 272 months (over 22 years) in prison after pleading guilty to charges of receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography by Chief United States District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood.
After serving his sentence he will be required to register as a sex offender and will have a lifetime of supervised release by a federal probation officer.
According to a release from officials, “child pornography and sexually explicit texts with minors on active-duty Lightner’s cell phone”.
During the guilty plea and sentencing hearing agents with Fort Stewart’s Army Criminal Investigation Comand (Army-CID) forensic agents located at least 500 images with depictions of child pornography on Lightner’s phone including sexually-explicit photos of his infant daughter that he shared over the internet.
Lightner first pled guilty on May 2, 2016, according to officials. After his arrest, Lightner was discharged from the Army.
“This defendant preyed on children. He now rightfully faces hundreds of months in a federal prison cell,” Traver said. “When he’s released, he’ll then be under the watchful eye of federal probation officers for the rest of his life. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will work hard with our state and federal law enforcement partners to make sure that sex offenders who prey on the innocent will end up where they belong, in prison,” said U.S. Attorney Edward Tarver
The case was a part of Project Safe Childhood a nationwide initiative of the U.S. Department of Justice to help protect children from online exploitation and abuse in conjunction with the Southeast Georgia Child Exploitation Task Force and the Army-CID.
Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better help locate, arrest and prosecute those who exploit children on the internet as well as identify and rescue victims.
Assistant United States Attorneys Frederick W. Kramer (since retired) and Marcela C. Mateo prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.