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Former UGA Professor Ordered to Prison, Must Register as Lifetime Sex Offender

May 17, 2021 @ 9:49 AM ET

A former University of Georgia (UGA) professor who admitted to authorities that he possessed hundreds of images of child pornography was sentenced to federal prison and will have to register as a sex offender for life.

James Edward Monogan, III, 39, of Athens, was sentenced to serve 90 months in a federal prison to be followed by 10 years of supervised release and more than $40,000 in fines by U.S. District Judge C. Ashley Royal on Tuesday, May 10. In addition, Monogan will be required to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration Act. Monogan previously pleaded guilty to one count possession of child pornography. There is no parole in the federal system.

“Monogan, a former professor, will serve more than seven years behind federal prison bars for his crimes against children,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “Viewing child pornography is a direct assault against the very children who are being exploited on film. We will prosecute individuals engaging in this deviant criminal behavior, and we thank our law enforcement partners for their hard work and vigilance.”

“Taking Monogan off the streets means that his victims can start to heal, and he can no longer hurt our children or share those dreadful images and details with others,” said Special Agent in Charge Katrina W. Berger, who oversees Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) operations in Georgia and Alabama. “Catching and prosecuting predators is always a victory for the community, but when that predator is in a position of trust and responsibility that victory is even greater. We are thankful for the hard work our law enforcement put into this case.”

“This investigation demonstrates that no matter who you are, you will be held accountable for preying on children. We value our law enforcement partnerships to be able to work together in these type investigations to catch and punish criminals who seek to exploit one of our most vulnerable populations,” said GBI Director Vic Reynolds. 

According to the plea agreement, Homeland Security Investigation’s Atlanta Office (HSI-Atlanta) received information in 2019 that KIK user “utbballplaya03” had distributed child pornography to another KIK user in February 2019. KIK, formally known as Kik Messenger, is an internet based instant messaging mobile application. HSI also received a second child pornography distribution complaint for KIK user “texan21225053.” Both KIK usernames belonged to Monogan. On September 5, 2019, HSI, the GBI and the Athens-Clarke County Police Department executed a federal search warrant at the defendant’s residence in Athens, seizing several electronic devices. Monogan’s UGA office was also searched. A forensic review of the defendant’s electronics located 452 images of child pornography and eight videos depicting child sexual exploitation material on his UGA laptop, as well as an additional 119 images of child sexual exploitation material on his cell phone. Some of these images involved minors under the age of 12.

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), the GBI and the Athens-Clarke County Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Shanelle Booker is prosecuting the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.