Prison Sentence for Possession of Child Pornography

This morning, John Bruce Witherell was sentenced to 37.1 years in prison and designated a sexual offender, for 33 counts of Possession of Child Pornography. He was convicted in February following a jury trial in Charlotte County.

Assistant State Attorneys Alexa Lipham and Tracy Detzel prosecuted the case.

The crime was discovered on February 12, 2020, when the defendant’s roommate found two cell phones belonging to the defendant, rolled up in a towel in a dresser drawer. One phone was not password protected. When the witness turned the phone on, he saw inappropriate images of children. The defendant was incarcerated at the time due to a different case.

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office was contacted and began an investigation. It was confirmed that the phones belonged to the defendant. A search warrant was executed for the contents of the phones and numerous images of child pornography were found during the forensic review. The defendant was then arrested on the new charges.

Samantha Syoen – Communications Director, State Attorney’s Office