States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|May 31, 2011||
Project Safe Childhood:
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that WILLIAM OEHNE, 50, of Amelia, Virginia, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Janet C. Hall in Bridgeport to 540 months of imprisonment, followed by a life term of supervised release for producing and distributing child pornography.
“This significant sentence is appropriate for an individual who not only repeatedly sexually abused a young girl but also documented his abuse and shared it with others through the Internet,” stated U.S. Attorney Fein. “As a result, the heinous pictures he created have become some of the most-viewed images of child pornography available on the Internet today, ensuring that his victim will continue to be victimized by traders and viewers of child pornography for the rest of her life. I want to commend the FBI agents and local law enforcement officers who expertly investigated this matter and have helped to remove a dangerous child predator from society for a very long time.”
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.
To date, the victim’s images have been identified in more than 3300 child pornography criminal investigations.
The investigation of this matter began in January 2006, when an FBI agent forwarded to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (“NCMEC”) child pornographic images that the agent had located while in an undercover capacity on the Internet. Also in January 2006, additional images of the same victim were forwarded to NCMEC by an INTERPOL child exploitation working group in Lyon, France. INTERPOL was able to find identifying information after magnifying the photographs. In one image, the minor victim was standing in front of a decorative plate with the victim’s first name and birth date. A separate image of the victim also contained a “Mickey Mouse” hat with the victim’s first name stenciled on the back. Utilizing the information received from various law enforcement officials, the FBI identified individuals in the United States who matched the first name and date of birth identified on the plate. In March 2009, agents from the FBI’s New Haven Field Office determined that the victim was residing in Fairfield County. On March 30, 2009, during an interview with an FBI child/adolescent forensic interviewer, the minor victim identified OEHNE as her abuser. FBI agents also were also able to corroborate that many of the images were taken in the victim’s bedroom.
On March 31, 2009, OEHNE was arrested in Amelia, Virginia, where he had relocated. At the time, OEHNE was free on a state bond relating to the sexual abuse of a 15-year-old girl.
During today’s sentencing, Judge Hall found that OEHNE also engaged in the sexual abuse of other minor girls while he resided in Virginia.
On October 19, 2010, OEHNE pleaded guilty to one count of producing child pornography and one count of distributing child pornography. Today, OEHNE was sentenced to 360 months of imprisonment for producing child pornography, and a consecutive sentence of 180 months of imprisonment for distributing child pornography, for a total effective sentence of 45 years.
OEHNE has been detained in federal custody since his March 2009 arrest.
This investigation was 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 was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Krishna R. Patel and United States Attorney David B. Fein.
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.
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