ATLANTA – Billy Calhoun has been convicted of producing child pornography. Calhoun convinced several underage girls he met online to send him sexually explicit videos and images by pretending he was a teenager.
“Calhoun took advantage of the anonymity afforded by the Internet to target and victimize young girls,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “While social media can provide a forum for young people to safely connect with family and friends, this case should remind parents that vigilance over their children’s online activities is critical.”
“This verdict ensures that Billy Calhoun will not harm the children in our community for a long time to come. We hope his victims can heal from the emotional scars left by his actions,” said FBI Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Keri Farley. “The FBI will continue to work to ensure that justice is served for those who commit these terrible crimes.”
“Our investigators work tirelessly to ensure that the most vulnerable have a voice and those who would harm them are brought to justice,” said Cobb County Police Chief Stuart VanHoozer. “We are proud to work with our local and federal partners to ensure that the full weight of the justice system is brought against those who would victimize the children of our communities.”
According to U.S. Attorney Buchanan, the indictments and other information presented in court: Calhoun came into the sights of law enforcement in February 2020 after the Cobb County Police Department (“CCPD”) received a call from a local middle school regarding the alleged exploitation of one of his young students. CCPD was informed that an older man – later identified as Calhoun – was delivering lunch to a 14-year-old girl. The girl told school administrators that the older man was her boyfriend’s uncle and explained to them that she had a 16-year-old boyfriend named “Zack” who she met on Instagram a few months earlier. Investigators learned that the girl had never actually met or seen “Zack,” but had sent him nude photos on a cell phone. They also learned that “Zack” had bought her gifts, including a cell phone and two laptops. Several weeks after the initial conversation with the 14-year-old girl, CCPD learned that Calhoun had attempted to pick her up at school without her mother’s permission. CCPD subsequently arrested Calhoun on state charges.
During an interview with CCPD detectives after the arrest, Calhoun admitted he was “Zack” and pretended to be a 16-year-old when he learned the girl was 14. Calhoun also admitted to receiving sexually explicit videos of her. The CCPD later executed multiple search warrants for Calhoun’s cell phones and residence. As a result, the FBI later identified at least three additional underage girls whom Calhoun met online and who sent him sexually explicit videos and/or photos. Investigators also discovered at least hundreds more images and videos of child pornography.
Billy Calhoun, 32, of Acworth, Georgia, was sentenced by Judge William H. Ray II to 20 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release. Calhoun also must register as a sex offender. Calhoun pleaded guilty on March 17, 2023, to one count of production of child pornography.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Cobb County Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alex R. Sistla and Katie Terry prosecuted the case.
This case is filed as part of the Safe Childhood Project. In February 2006, the Attorney General launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. attorneys’ offices across the country, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to arrest and prosecute individuals who exploit children. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
For further information, please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Public Affairs at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.