Martin Co. man sentenced for producing, distributing child pornography

Published 9:35 am Monday, August 28, 2023

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A Martin County man will likely spend the rest of his life in federal prison after he was sentenced to 60 years at U.S. District Court in Pikeville, after he was convicted of producing and distributing child pornography.

Donald York, 60, of Beauty, was found guilty by a jury in April 2023 of four counts of production of child pornography and two counts of distributing child pornography. According to the evidence presented at his trial, York coerced a 15-year-old female victim, who was in his care, to engage in sexually explicit conduct so that he could produce images of that conduct. York then uploaded some of these images to a pornographic website.

Under federal law, York must serve at least 85% of his prison sentence.

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Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Brian Jones, Acting Special Agent in Charge, FBI Louisville Field Office; Col. Phillip Burnett, Commissioner, Kentucky State Police; and Sheriff John Kirk, Martin County Sherriff’s Office, jointly announced the sentence.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI, Kentucky State Police and the Martin County Sheriff’s Office. The United States was represented in the case by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Justin Blankenship and Jason Parman.

This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, which was launched in May 2006 by the U. S. Department of Justice.

Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices across the country, as well as the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood combines 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.