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Former Jacksonville Jaguars employee Samuel Thompson was sentenced to 220 years in prison for producing child sexual abuse material and hacking the team’s stadium jumbotron. Thompson was hired in 2013 as a contractor to work on the video board network and operate the jumbotron on game days. However, his contract was not renewed in 2018 after it was discovered that he was a registered sex offender with a prior conviction for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy in Alabama in 1998. Despite this, Thompson had installed remote access software on a spare server in the Jaguars’ server room, allowing him to control the jumbotron during games the following season, causing multiple malfunctions.

The FBI executed a search warrant at Thompson’s residence in July 2019 and seized devices that had been used to access the spare jumbotron server, as well as a firearm that Thompson, a convicted felon, was prohibited from owning. During the raid, agents also discovered thousands of images and hundreds of videos of child sexual abuse that Thompson had produced, some of which featured children under his care and custody. In addition to his offenses related to child sex abuse material, Thompson was convicted of violating the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, sending unauthorized damaging commands to a protected computer, and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

This case is not the only scandal to hit the Jaguars, as another former employee was recently sentenced to six years in prison for embezzling over $20 million from the team through the company’s credit card program. The stolen funds were used to finance a lavish lifestyle that included online gambling, private jet charters, real estate purchases, sports memorabilia, and other personal expenses. The combination of these criminal activities involving former team employees has raised questions about the team’s hiring and oversight practices.

Thompson’s sentencing to 220 years in prison for his crimes involving child sexual abuse material and hacking the stadium jumbotron serves as a stark reminder of the serious consequences of such actions. The fact that he used his position with the Jaguars to commit these offenses highlights the need for organizations to thoroughly vet and monitor their employees, especially those with access to sensitive technology and information. The discovery of child sexual abuse material on devices seized during the investigation underscores the importance of law enforcement agencies actively pursuing and prosecuting individuals who exploit and harm children.

The successful investigation and prosecution of Thompson by the FBI demonstrate the commitment of law enforcement agencies to holding individuals accountable for their crimes, especially those involving the abuse of children. The discovery of child sexual abuse material produced by Thompson, who was required to register as a sex offender, underscores the need for continued vigilance in monitoring and enforcing laws that protect vulnerable individuals from exploitation and harm. Moving forward, organizations like the Jacksonville Jaguars must take steps to prevent similar incidents in the future by implementing stronger hiring practices, monitoring employee behavior, and cooperating with law enforcement agencies in cases of criminal activity.

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