A northeastern Oklahoma man was sentenced this week in federal court after pleading guilty last fall to child sexual exploitation.
U.S. District Judge John Dowdell sentenced Zachary Newberry, 25, of Claremore, to 30 years in federal prison.
Newberry was first charged in August 2018, after an anonymous tip led investigators to him. In July, Tulsa police received a phone in the mail with a note attached saying, "Child pornography. Please investigate." Police examined the phone and found a video of a girl approximately 10 years old being sexually abused by an adult.
Investigators followed the digital footprint to Newberry, whom they found in an RV park between Claremore and Pryor. Police say they confronted Newberry, who initially denied making the video. However, they say that there were enough identifying features to connect him to the crime, and he eventually admitted the act.
Newberry reportedly told police that he lived with the girl and her family, and that he coerced the child into performing the sex act and recorded it on his cell phone, watching it at least five times after the incident. He was arrested and booked in to the Tulsa County jail.
Soon, federal authorities took over the case, and in November, Newberry pleaded guilty to sexually exploiting a minor. He was sentenced this week to 30 years in prison. Upon release, he will be required to serve 10 years of supervised release and is ordered to register as a federal sex offender.
U.S. Attorney Trent Shores says the man's arrest and conviction are a product of Project Safe Childhood, an initiative of the United States Department of Justice. According the the Project Safe Childhood website, the program is "[l]ed by the U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) to [marshal] 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."