Former Iowa firefighter sentenced for child pornography

Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 3:55 PM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (WOWT) - A West Des Moines man was sentenced Thursday to eight years in prison for child pornography-related offenses.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa, 55-year-old James Dean Gathercole of West Des Moines uploaded an image of child porn to a chat room with 72 members.

Gathercole also allegedly had at least five videos and two images of child porn on his phone in September 2020.

The Attorney’s Office says Gathercole was employed as a firefighter in the Des Moines metro area as recently as 2020.

As part of his sentence, Gathercole is also ordered to pay $40,000 and have seven years of supervised release when he leaves prison.

The case was prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Childhood” initiative, which started in 2006 as an effort to reduce the sexual exploitation of children.