Police release body camera video of 12-year-old handcuffing

Couple sentenced for producing child porn, exploiting several kids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Two people have been sentenced to 60 and 80 years in prison for exploiting several children in the production of child pornography.

The U.S. Attorney in Grand Rapids, Andrew Birge, made the announcement Thursday that Joseph Williams, 53, of Watervliet was sentenced to 80 years and Sherri Smith, 48, of Osceola, Indiana, was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison.  Smith pleaded guilty in October to two counts of production of child porn and Williams pleaded guilty in December to two counts of production of child porn and one count of distribution of child porn.

Birge says that Williams and Smith were in a dating relationship and exploited six children who were in their care to produce child porn.  The victims range in age from six months to 14 years.  Investigators found Williams and Smith when Williams shared some of the images with an undercover officer in Cincinnati through an encrypted app.

Chief U.S. District Court Judge Robert Jonker called the situation a “child pornography house of horrors” and said at sentencing that the case was “if not the worst, then one of the two or three worst cases” he had seen.

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