Sex offender, ex-Jaguars employee who hacked jumbotron sentenced to 220 years in prison

A federal judge in Florida has handed down a 220-year prison sentence to Samuel Arthur Thompson, a registered sex offender, for various crimes including producing, receiving, and possessing child sexual abuse material. Thompson’s sentencing also stems from his unauthorized access to the Jacksonville Jaguars’ stadium jumbotron after the team chose not to renew his contract due to his status as a sex offender.

Thompson, 53, was convicted by a federal jury in November 2023 for these offenses, as well as for producing child sexual abuse material while being obligated to register as a sex offender, violating the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), and possessing a firearm as a felon.

Prior to this, Thompson had a conviction for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy in Alabama in 1998, which mandated him to register as a sex offender.

According to federal prosecutors, Thompson was hired by the Jacksonville Jaguars around 2013 to work on the stadium’s main screen and was later responsible for its operation during game days.

However, despite his contract requiring disclosure of his conviction, Thompson failed to do so. When the Jaguars discovered his status as a registered sex offender in January 2018, they opted not to renew his contract, which was due to expire in March 2018.

Before his contract ended, Thompson installed remote access software on a spare server in the Jaguars’ server room. Using this software, he remotely accessed the computers controlling the jumbotron during three NFL games in the 2018 season, causing disruptions.

The Jaguars identified the intrusion during a game in December 2018 and traced it back to Thompson’s residence through the IP address. Subsequently, the FBI conducted a search of Thompson’s home in July 2019, where they seized computers and a firearm he was prohibited from possessing as a convicted felon. Files recovered from Thompson’s devices revealed his remote access to the spare server, along with a large collection of child sexual abuse material.

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