A federal judge sentenced a Shelby County man for crimes involving images of child sexual abuse Thursday, announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona.
38-year-old Shawn Michael Hughes, of Chelsea, was sentenced to 180 months in prison followed by lifetime of supervised release for advertising and possessing child pornography.
Hughes was also ordered to pay $116,500 in restitution to the victims. On August 2, 2022, Hughes plead guilty to one count of advertising child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.
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According to court documents, Hughes admitted to being a member of a dark web chat board dedicated to discussing and exchanging images of child sexual abuse, where he posted links to images of child sexual abuse material.
Officials said he also amassed a vast collection of images of child sexual abuse on his electronic devices seized from his residence. This conviction will require Hughes to register as a sex offender in accordance with the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
“Today’s sentencing sends a resounding message to those who would use the shadows of the Dark Web to commit such heinous crimes,” U.S. Attorney Escalona said. “We will continue to relentlessly pursue justice for every child impacted by these heinous acts.”