HOUSTON, Febuary 20, 2017 - A 49-year-old man from Houston has received a massive sentence following his convictions of sexual exploitation of a child, distribution and possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. William Lee Niver pleaded guilty June 14, 2016.
Today, U.S. District Judge Gray Miller handed Niver a sentence of 360 months for the sexual exploitation of a child, otherwise known as production of child pornography. He also received 240 months for each of two distribution charges as well as another 120 months for the possession of child pornography. The sentences will all run consecutively for a total of 960 months in federal prison. There is no parole in the federal system.
During the hearing, the court heard from the victim about how being sexually assaulted, psychologically abused and manipulated into situations to meet Niver’s deviant sexually-perverse needs has impacted her life. She indicated that from the time she was eight years old until the age of 14, the abuse consumed her life. “He touched every inch of my body, both with and without my consent, performed oral sex on me, coerced me into performing oral sex on him, engaged in vaginal and anal intercourse with me and encouraged me to have sex with a good female friend of mine. This man, who had been my hero since the day I was born, gave me innumerable excuses for his behavior, scrambled for proof of his intrinsic morality, told me how beautiful and intelligent I was and how I had to understand that I was impossible to resist.”
The government told the court that instead of receiving Barbie dolls and books, Niver gave the victim vibrators and showed her pornography.
In determining the sentence, Judge Miller noted the substantial harm done to victim and said this was one of the saddest cases ever to come before him.
Niver first came to the attention of law enforcement after he had sent images of child pornography, including the victim who appeared in court, to an undercover agent. Federal agents executed a search warrant at Niver’s residence and performed a forensic examination on his computer which resulted in the discovery of more than 6,000 images and 1,000 videos of young children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The images included children under the age of 12, bondage and acts of violence. Some of the images are of known victims as identified through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
At the time of the plea, Niver admitted to taking sexually explicit photographs and a video of a minor female relative and emailing them to others.
He will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation.
This case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kimberly Ann Leo and Carrie A. Wirsing, was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."