Scott Thomas Provost, 64, of Texas, was sentenced to three decades in federal prison after pleading guilty to receiving and possessing more than 300,000 images and 6,000 videos of obscene material that involved children.
Provost will be required to register as a sex offender and will have to pay restitution to his victims. Provost should also comply with requirements that restrict his access to children and the internet.
According to U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani, "Provost amassed one of the most extensive collections of child pornography videos and images we have seen in this district."
Law enforcement became aware of Provost's illegal activities when he was identified as "a user of a peer-to-peer network that uses a centralized data store to maintain and deliver information without concerns of censorship."
In January 2022, authorities searched Provost's home and found almost four terabytes of pornography that included several downloaded images of child pornography stored on his personal hard drives.
Court records state that forensic analysis showed that Provost's videos and images contained child sexual assault material and some involved children under 12, including infants and toddlers. Also, several images showed young children in bondage and other forms of violence, according to officials.
Unfortunately, FBI Special Agent in Charge James Smith said, despite the arrest of Provost, the number of online images depicting sexual abuse of children and the amount of online activity by people seeking to contact other people willing to share or sell child sex abuse material (CSAM) continue to increase. Landon Mion "Texas man with 'one of the most extensive' child pornography collections sentenced to 30 years in prison" https://www.foxnews.com/us/texas-man-most-extensive-child-pornography-collections-sentenced-30-years-prison (Jul. 10, 2023).
Commentary and Checklist
According to the IWF (Internet Watch Foundation), in 2022 they investigated 375,230 reports suspected to contain child sexual abuse imagery. Of these, 255,580 reports were confirmed to contain images or videos of children suffering sexual abuse.
The most common age group of the kids in the images and videos were those of the 11-13 age group.
In April 2022, MIT Technology reported that, "The US hosts more child sexual abuse content online than any other country in the world." The report says the US hosted 21 percent of global CSAM URLs at the end of 2021. However, the percentage increased by nine percent during the first three months of 2022.
The rapidly growing number of CSAM in the US can be attributed to the country's sheer size and the fact that the US is home to the highest number of data centers and secure internet servers in the world. As a result, the US has several fast networks with swift, stable connections making it attractive to people who distribute CSAM.
What should safe adults do if they come across or observe child porn on a computer?
If you find it on someone else's phone or computer, preserve any evidence, if possible.
If you find it on the internet, note the name of the website, chat room, or newsgroup where you saw the suspected child pornography.
A report can be made online at the NCMEC CyberTipline or via the phone at 1-800-843-5678.
If you receive child pornography through unsolicited e-mail, note the sender's screen name and ISP (Internet Service Provider) and forward the entire message (do not copy and paste) to the FBI.
DO NOT download the child pornography yourself in order to help the FBI. You may not download such an image to your hard drive, disk, or printer without breaking the law.
Rely on law enforcement to conduct the investigation into the crime.
Assist authorities with their investigation, if requested.