William Zimmerman, 64, of Georgetown pleaded guilty Jan. 16 to receipt of child pornography in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.

William Zimmerman, 64, of Georgetown pleaded guilty Jan. 16 to receipt of child pornography in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.

According to Charles M. Oberly III, U.S. attorney for the District of Delaware, Zimmerman was previously convicted in Delaware of second degree unlawful sexual contact in 1988 and possession of child pornography in 1993. Zimmerman served four years in prison for the child pornography offense and was released from custody in 1997, at which time he was registered as a sex offender.

As a result of Zimmerman’s prior convictions, Oberly said he faces enhanced sentencing penalties under federal law, including a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. Zimmerman also faces a term of supervised release of five years to life following his prison sentence and he will be required to register as a sex offender in any U.S. jurisdiction in which he lives, works or attends school.

Zimmerman will be sentenced on April 22 by Chief U.S. District Judge Gregory M. Sleet.

According to Oberly, the Delaware Child Predator Task Force established a connection to Zimmerman during the investigation of two other Delaware child sex offenders. That investigation began in October 2012 after the task force received a cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The tip reported that registered sex offender 57-year-old Roger Cordero of New Castle had uploaded files containing child pornography through an AOL server.

Police executed a search warrant on Dec. 20, 2012 at Cordero’s New Castle residence where they found computers containing thousands of images of child pornography featuring mostly prepubescent and adolescent children. Police also found that Cordero had been trading child pornography with registered sex offender 72-year-old David Pennington of Georgetown. Police said Cordero and Pennington met while incarcerated in the Smyrna Correctional Institution for child sex offenses and the two shared images of child pornography by mailing digital photographs saved to thumb drives back and forth to one another.

The same day, police executed another search warrant at the Georgetown residence of Pennington, who was then wearing an electronic monitoring device due to a state probation violation. Police found evidence relating to the mailing of child pornography and sexual abuse stories between Cordero and Pennington.

A Delaware State Police forensic examiner also recovered from Pennington’s cell phone two images of child pornography and related text messages between Pennington and Zimmerman. Police said the images depicted a prepubescent boy engaged in a sex act with an adult male. During a January 2013 interview with task force detectives, Pennington said he received the two images from Zimmerman, whom he’d met in a child sex offender therapy group. Pennington also said he would go to Zimmerman’s house, where there was a computer set up to access child pornography.

Police executed a search warrant at Zimmerman’s Georgetown residence on Jan. 8, 2013 and recovered several pieces of computer equipment containing hundreds of images of child pornography. Police said the images featured children ranging in age from infancy to mid-teen being posed or engaged in sexual acts with adult males.

A federal grand jury indicted Cordero on June 13, 2013 on various child pornography crimes, including production, transportation, receipt and possession. If convicted of the most serious charges, Cordero faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 35 years and a maximum sentence of 60 years in prison. Cordero’s case remains pending before the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.

After pleading guilty to dealing in child pornography, Pennington was sentenced to 28 years in prison on Oct. 11, 2013 by Delaware Superior Court Judge T. Henley Graves.