A Georgetown sex offender previously convicted by the state for possessing child pornography and an earlier sex crime was sentenced April 22 in federal court on a child porn charge.
William Zimmerman, 64, of Georgetown was given 15 years in federal prison for receiving child pornography. Zimmerman's latest charge follows a state conviction in 1993 for possession of child pornography, for which he served four years in prison, and a 1988 state charge of second-degree unlawful sexual contact, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward J. McAndrew in a press release.
Zimmerman was a registered sex offender at the time of his latest offense, McAndrew said.
Zimmerman came to the attention of the Delaware Child Predator Task Force during an investigation into two other registered child sex offenders living in Delaware – Roger Cordero of New Castle and David Pennington of Georgetown. Cordero and Pennington met while incarcerated for sex crimes against children and continued to exchange child pornography after their release, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.
After their release from James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna, Pennington met Zimmerman while attending sex offender therapy; Pennington told investigators that Zimmerman sent him child pornography, and he would go to Zimmerman's home to access child pornography, officials said.
“They did this at Zimmerman's residence because Pennington was on active probation and was prohibited from possessing a computer in his residence,” McAndrew said.
In January 2013, task force officers searched Zimmerman's Georgetown home and found more than 2,300 images of child pornography on several pieces of computer equipment. The images featured mostly young boys, officials said.
In an earlier interview, McAndrew said the number of child predators is growing in Delaware as convicts are released into society following completion of their prison terms. Other child sex offenders are also relocating to the area, he said.
Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge in Philadelphia John P. Kelleghan said special agents in Wilmington continue to work with Delaware officials to protect children from sexual predators.
“This sentencing is a reminder to those who exploit our most innocent citizens, children: We will identify, investigate and arrest you for committing these horrendous crimes,” he said.
Pennington was sentenced to 28 years in prison in October 2013; Cordero is scheduled for trial June 2014 and faces a mandatory sentence of 35 to 60 years in prison if convicted of production, transportation, receipt and possession of child pornography and other charges.