A former Worcester man who had plotted to eat children and constructed a torture room inside a West Side home in the New England city wants to be released from federal prison and sent back to his native country of England.
Geoffrey Portway, 47, is currently being held in medium security at a federal prison in Virginia. He is still serving his sentence after he pleaded guilty in 2013 to solicitation to commit a crime of violence and distribution and possession of child pornography.
Portway was sentenced to serve just over 26 years in prison and was ordered to be on lifetime supervised release. He faces deportation once he gets out of prison.
Federal records show Portway is scheduled to be released May 28, 2035.
Portway filed a hand-written motion in seeking compassionate release on Nov. 13. The motion was sent to federal court in Worcester. Portway states he has existing medical conditions that put him at risk for COVID. He claims in his motion that FCC Petersburg, where he is being held, has more than 40 confirmed coronavirus cases between inmates and staff.
Federal records, as of Nov. 30, show a total of five inmate and six staff member active COVID cases at the Virginia prison.
Authorities raided Portway’s Worcester residence at 31-2 Beechmont St. in July 2012 as part of a massive child sexual abuse images investigation.
A basement doorway led investigators to a horrific discovery. Portway had a room he called his “boy butcher basement.”
“Inside the door was a sally port that led to a second door (with a keyed lock). Inside the second door was a dungeon, which was lined with acoustical sound-deadening material and contained a chair, television, and what appeared to be cable access to the Internet,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. “The room also contained a child-sized homemade coffin (with large speakers covered in wire mesh at one end) with exterior locking devices, a steel cage with multiple locking devices, and a steel tabletop (with steel rings at six points, presumably for restraints). Outside these rooms were a cabinet freezer, an upright freezer, disposable scalpels, butchering kits, and castration tools.”
The dungeon was described in detail by Portway in chats recovered by investigators. He had discussed his desire to keep kidnapped children in the room while he sexually abused them. Portway claimed in the chats that he then planned to murder and cannibalize them.
A former a senior computer operator at BJ’s Wholesale Club in Westborough, Portway was snared in an international investigation involving child sexual abuse images that began in Milford, Massachusetts.
He has tried several times to have his case thrown out and his guilty pleas vacated with no success.
Portway contended that his life was that of a fantasy world and he had no intention of harming children, but authorities said Portway was the “real deal” and chatted often online about torturing children.
Although authorities said he never physically harmed a child, they said he did talk about having a boy abducted. This discussion occurred with a Kansas man who volunteered at a hospital in that state, according to federal records.
“According to the agreed upon statement of facts, Portway engaged in numerous chats with many individuals about a mutual interest in abducting, raping, murdering, and eating children,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in 2013. “Many of these conversations were accompanied by the trading of child pornography. These chats also included images of children known to them, accompanied by discussions of the desire to sexually abuse, murder and cannibalize those children.”
Portway, as early as 2010, communicated with the man in Kansas and solicited him to kidnap a child for him. The conversations involved discussions about real children, by name, and photographs. The Kansas man said he had access to the children. The Kansas man was also arrested in the federal investigation.
Authorities uncovered evidence of more than 4,500 trades of child sexual abuse images between Portway and others.
“Many of these trades involved Portway distributing child pornography to others based on their stated specific preferences, including images and videos appearing to depict dead children and the cannibalism of children,” officials said.
Portway cites his obesity, diabetes, hypertension and compromised immune system as reasons why he is at risk for a “severe or fatal” reaction to COVID. He contends he also has participated in several post-sentencing rehabilitation programs.
Records filed along with Portway’s motion show he has taken steps to accomplish an international treaty transfer application with the British Consulate in case he is released and deported to England. Portway states he does not have a place to live in England if released but stated the organization Prisoners Abroad will help him find a residence.
Portway said the group will help “implement a proposed concrete plan” of transition that “ensures the safety and interests of the British community.”
In the 45-page motion written by Portway he states that he “poses no danger to the community given his post-sentencing rehabilitation and fervent efforts to create and put in place a concrete and structured path to reintegration that protects the safety of himself and the England community to where he will be deported.”
The government has asked for time to respond to Portway’s motion.