States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|October 19, 2010||
Project Safe Childhood: FORMER CONNECTICUT RESIDENT PLEADS GUILTY TO CHILD PORNOGRAPHY PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION CHARGES
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Kimberly K. Mertz, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that WILLIAM OEHNE, 49, of Amelia, Virginia, pleaded guilty today to an indictment charging him with one count of producing child pornography and one count of distributing child pornography.
According to court documents and statements made in court, from 2004 to 2006, when he was a resident of Fairfield County, Connecticut, OEHNE photographed himself engaging in sexually explicit conduct with a girl who was approximately eight-years-old when the abuse began. OEHNE engaged the victim in a lengthy grooming process involving trickery and threats, and he enticed her to engage in sex acts by promising her gifts of clothes and electronics. OEHNE then distributed the sexually explicit photographs over the internet.
“The government believes that this defendant, by visually documenting his repeated sexual abuse of a minor girl, is now responsible for creating some of the most-viewed images of child pornography available on the internet today,” stated U.S. Attorney Fein. “I want to recognize the FBI agents and local law enforcement officers who expertly investigated this matter, as they have helped to remove another child predator from society.”
“The FBI is committed to protecting victims of sexual predators like William Oehne, who prey on innocent children who cannot fend for themselves,” stated FBI Special Agent in Charge Mertz. “We will continue to use all investigative resources at our disposal to ensure these criminals are brought to justice.”
Judge Hall has scheduled sentencing for January 10, 2011, at which time OEHNE faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 50 years. The government believes that the applicable term of incarceration under the federal sentencing guidelines is 50 years.
OEHNE has been detained in federal custody since his arrest in Virginia on March 31, 2009.
This investigation has been conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in New Haven, the FBI’s Richmond Innocent Images National Initiative Task Force in Virginia, and local police in Connecticut. The case is being prosecuted by U.S. Attorney David B. Fein and Assistant United States Attorney Krishna R. Patel.
U.S. Attorney Fein noted that this prosecution is part of the United States Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
To report cases of child exploitation, please visit www.cybertipline.com.
U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
Department of Justice
Project Safe Neighborhoods