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Former Edna band director sentenced to federal prison in child pornography case

By Victoria Advocate
July 7, 2010 at 2:07 a.m.


PROJECT SAFE CHILDHOOD

WHAT: A nationwide program that aims to combat child sexual abuse and exploitation.

WHO: U.S. Department of Justice

WHEN: Started in May 2006

DUTIES: Prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet and identify and rescue victims

FOR MORE INFO: www.projectsafechildhood.gov

THE NUMBERS

2,118 indictments in 2007

1,661 child victims rescued as of 2008

$188 million donated to the program since 2008

Source: www.projectsafechidlhood.gov

A former Edna band director voluntarily surrendered his teaching license and was sentenced to prison for possessing child pornography on Tuesday.

Billy Forrest Marquis Jr., 51, was sentenced to 51 months in prison without the possibility of parole by United States District Judge John D. Rainey, according to a news release from the Department of Justice.

The sentence also requires Marquis to register as a sex offender after his release and to have a "life-term of supervised release," according to the release.

Marquis pleaded guilty to the federal felony offense April 12 after admitting he subscribed to about 10 pay child pornography websites between 2006 and 2009.

One of those sites was shut down by law enforcement, and an examination of the site's records identified Marquis as a subscriber.

Homeland Security Investigations agents searched Marquis' home on May 5, 2009 and found 213 images of child pornography. According to the release, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children identified dozens of those images as real victimized children.

Marquis worked at the Edna school district as assistant band director and head band director from 2002 until he resigned in March 2009.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lance Duke prosecuted the case as part of Project Safe Childhood, a Department of Justice program that aims to combat child sexual abuse and exploitation.

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