- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 28, 2007

A former U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer has been sentenced in Arizona to 6,242 years in prison for sexually abusing a young girl over the course of two years.

Jay Gillilland was arrested after police officers in Nogales, Ariz., discovered child pornography in his home computer while executing a search warrant on unrelated drug charges.

During a later search of a storage locker Gillilland had rented in Nogales, officers discovered more than two hours of videotape depicting him sexually abusing the girl, who was between 6 and 8 years old at the time.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents were brought in to consult on the case by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General because of their expertise in child pornography.

Nogales agents coordinated with the Santa Cruz County, Ariz., criminal investigative division to set up the computer forensic examination, retrieve evidence of molestation and certify the videos through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

“I am glad that my agents were able to help make sure this monster will be imprisoned for the rest of his life,” said Special Agent in Charge Alonzo Pena, head of the ICE office of investigation in Arizona. “Nothing makes me prouder than protecting children from these predators.”

In March, a jury found Gillilland guilty of 317 counts of molestation of a child, sexual conduct with a minor, sexual exploitation of a minor and child abuse.

This week, Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge James Soto sentenced Gillilland to 174 consecutive sentences of 35 years to life on the sexual conduct charges. In handing down the sentence, Judge Soto described Gillilland as narcissistic, selfish and self-centered.

Prior to sentencing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas O’Sullivan, who prosecuted the case, showed the jury a photograph of Gillilland hanging his young victim upside down and naked. Mr. O’Sullivan called Gillilland a sociopath who did not care about anyone but himself.

Gillilland’s defense attorneys said they would appeal his sentence. He was transferred to federal custody, where he is facing drug charges.