KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – On April 13, 2023, Andrew Stephen Couch, 37, currently of Knoxville, Tennessee, was sentenced to 720 months’ imprisonment by the Honorable Katherine A. Crytzer, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Knoxville.
As part of the plea agreement filed with the court, Couch agreed to plead guilty to an indictment charging him with two counts of production of child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2251(a). After his release from imprisonment, he will be on lifetime supervised release. Couch will be required to register with state sex offender registries and comply with special sex offender conditions during his supervised release.
According to the filed plea agreement, in December 2019, after receiving a report that Couch was distributing child pornography, a search warrant was conducted at Couch’s home. Couch’s cellular phone was seized and forensically examined. Located on the cellular phone were multiple videos of child pornography produced by Couch wherein he was engaged in sexually explicit acts with a four-and-a-half-year-old female who was visiting Couch’s home. Also on the cellular phone were thousands of other images and videos of child pornography of unidentified children.
The criminal indictment was the result of an investigation by the Knoxville Police Department, Internet Crimes Against Children Unit and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations.
Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Kolman represented the United States.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), 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 Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC 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 PSC, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc/resources.html and click on the tab “resources.”