James Strohm, a 20-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, was sentenced this week to more than 14 years in federal prison for viewing and distributing numerous images of child pornography, sometimes while on duty, according to federal officials.
Strohm, 49, who pleaded guilty in July 2019 to one count of possession of child pornography and one count of distribution of child pornography, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gerald A. McHugh to 172 months behind bars and was also ordered to serve 20 years of supervised release and pay $79,000 in restitution and more than $27,000 in special assessments.
Strohm is one of at least three city cops recently fired after being charged with possessing child pornography. Emmanuel Folly, 28, was arrested in April 2017 and is scheduled to be tried April 9 on two counts, while Novice Sloan, 30, was arrested in October 2019 and has a court hearing scheduled for April 5. Both ex-officers are free on bail, according to court records.
First Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams said the charges against Strohm stemmed from a tip submitted to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children from a gaming and social networking application about a user account containing thousands of images depicting child pornography.
A phone number and IP address connected to the account were associated with Strohm, of Philadelphia, who worked nights in the Accident Investigation Division, officials said.
Investigators then determined that Strohm was viewing, downloading, and distributing child pornography, including during hours when he was working.
“The defendant abused his position of power and trust by distributing images involving the sexual exploitation of children, some as young as infants,” Williams said.
“James Strohm not only committed these crimes from his home, but also, abhorrently, while on duty as a police officer. He will now spend years behind bars where he will be unable to exploit the suffering of children any longer,” she added.
“He violated his sworn oath and broke the law in a particularly disturbing way,” said Michael J. Driscoll, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division, who added that the sentence “sends a message that, no matter who you are, if you’re perpetuating the exploitation of children by seeking and trading this horrific content, the FBI will step in, put a stop to it, and see you brought to justice.”
The case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce the sexual exploitation and abuse of children, federal officials said.