Providence priest sentenced to 6 years for possession of child sexual abuse material

WLNE-TV, ABC-6 [Providence RI]

December 13, 2023

By Gino DeAngelis

United States Attorney Zachary Cunha said that a former Catholic priest assigned to St. Mary’s Church in Providence was sentenced for downloading and storing thousands of images of child sexual abuse material.

68-year-old Father James Ward Jackson was charged with receipt of child pornography.

The  Rhode Island State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force found that Jackson had a computer at the rectory which contained over 12,000 images and 1,300 videos of child sexual abuse material in September 2021.

Jackson was then released awaiting trial into the custody of his sister in Kansas.

In June 2022, police identified the IP address of the residence Jackson was staying at as having downloaded child sexual abuse material.

The Kansas Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force seized a portable computer and an external hard drive and found evidence that numerous files with names indicative of child sexual abuse material had been deleted.

Jackson was returned to Rhode Island and pled guilty on June 8, 2023.

He was sentenced to seventy-two months of incarceration to be followed by five years of federal supervised release, special assessments of $17,000 to The Amy, Vicky and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act of 2018 and $5,000 to The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015, and restitution to specific victims.