MISSOULA - A Kalispell man who admitted to taking sexually explicit photographs of a child while boating in Flathead County has been sentenced to 18 years in prison to be followed by 15 years of supervised release.
Edward Timothy Cockerham, 43, pleaded guilty in October 2021 to sexual exploitation of a child.
U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen presided.
“Cockerham victimized a child for his own sexual gratification. Today’s sentence holds him accountable for his reprehensible conduct and puts other offenders on notice that they face serious consequences for harming children. Crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children will be fully investigated and prosecuted. I want to thank Assistant U.S. Attorney Cyndee L. Peterson, the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force for their work on this case,” U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.
In court documents filed in the case, the government alleged that in June 2021, Cockerham went to Ashley Lake in Flathead County with two children. Cockerham took the victim, who was under the age of 18 and was identified as Jane Doe 1, boating. While out on the water, Cockerham touched and took sexually explicit pictures of Jane Doe 1. Jane Doe 1 reported Cockerham’s actions.
The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office seized Cockerham’s cell phone and searched it pursuant to a warrant. An initial review determined Cockerham had deleted all of the images. A subsequent search of the cell phone by a forensic examiner with the Montana Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation located sexually explicit images of Jane Doe 1, along with sexually explicit images of two other child victims.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Cyndee L. Peterson prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.