Savannah man gets nearly 30 years for distributing child porn while incarcerated

Crime & Safety

Melton Padgett
(photo: Emanuel County jail)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A convicted molester will spend nearly 30 years in federal prison for distributing child pornography while behind bars.

Melton Padgett Jr., of Savannah, pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of child pornography, according to Acting U.S. Attorney David Estes of the Southern District of Georgia.

(photo: Emanuel County jail)

The 47-year-old was sentenced to 312 months in prison followed by 15 years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $250,000 in restitution.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Padgett admitted to distributing the pornography while at the Coastal Transitional Center in Savannah, where he was completing a state prison term. He had been convicted of child cruelty, child molestation and aggravated sexual battery, and failing to register as a sex offender.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) found he shared videos of child sexual exploitation through a social media messaging service from inside the prison transitional center.

“Padgett has not gotten the message that his pattern of predatory behavior must stop or he will continue to face serious consequences,” said Special Agent in Charge Katrina W. Berger, who oversees HSI operations in Georgia and Alabama. “Protecting our most vulnerable population from exploitation is one of HSI’s most important missions.”

Officials urge anyone with information on suspected child exploitation to contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 800-843-5678 or online at report.cybertip.org.

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