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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Idaho

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 22, 2013

Mtn. Home Man Sentenced For Child Pornography Offense

Son Convicted and Sentenced Last Year for Possessing Sexually Explicit Images of Minors

BOISE – U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced today that Michael John Ebenhoeh, 53, of Mountain Home, was sentenced to 48 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for possession and access with intent to view sexually explicit images of minors. Ebenhoeh appeared this morning before the Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Boise. He pleaded guilty to the charge on April 18, 2013.

According to court documents, members of the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force determined that between November 10, 2010, and July 18, 2011, multiple digital files known to contain child pornography involving very young children were being downloaded and offered for sharing from a residence in Mountain Home, Idaho. On September 28, 2011, a search warrant was executed at the residence and several computers were seized. At the time of the search, Ebenhoeh’s son, Joseph, 27, was arrested. Joseph subsequently pleaded guilty to possessing sexually explicit images of minors. He was sentenced in July 2012 to 210 months in prison followed by 25 years of supervised release.

On the day of the search, an investigator approached Michael Ebenhoeh and told him that a child pornography file had been found on his computer. At that time, Michael denied knowing how the child pornography files were on his computer.

Further investigation determined that there were separate Internet accounts in the home associated with Michael and his son, and that the computer that belonged to Michael had not been used by his son. According to the plea agreement, investigators again interviewed Michael, who then admitted he had lied to the police previously. He further admitted that four or five times a week for the previous year he had used the computer to search online for pornography depicting children. Investigators found sexually explicit images of children between the ages of two and 14 years of age on Michael's computer. Several of the children depicted were identified as sexual abuse victims from Missouri, Nevada, Maryland and Washington State.

The case was investigated by Boise Police Department detectives who are members of the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), with assistance from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Mountain Home Police Department.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.usdoj.gov/psc.

For more information about Internet safety education, visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.” For more information about registered sex offenders in Idaho, visit www.isp.idaho.gov/sor_id/.