Credit: U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Mississippi
According to court documents, Walton Stephen Vaughan, 67, was found to be in possession of hundreds of visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct when FBI agents and local law enforcement executed a search warrant at his Lucedale residence on Feb. 27, 2019.
Vaughan is scheduled to be sentenced on June 15, 2023, at 11 a.m., in Gulfport. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. If Vaughan is determined to have a qualifying prior conviction under federal sexual exploitation statues, military law, or state law, to include abusive sexual conduct involving a minor, he would then face a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of 20 years in prison. A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Jones is prosecuting the case.
This 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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.