Stephan Leikert Indicted on Child Pornography Charges
Burlington, VT – The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Stephan Leikert, 43, of Morrisville, Vermont, was arraigned today on charges of possessing and accessing child pornography. Yesterday, a federal grand jury sitting in Burlington handed down the two-count indictment of Leikert. At the arraignment, Leikert pled not guilty to both charges. At that hearing, the Hon. John M. Conroy, United States Magistrate Judge released Leikert on conditions, including that he refrain from unsupervised contact with children and internet use.
Court records indicate that law enforcement searched Leikert's home on February 29, 2012, based on an internet lead. A subsequent forensic examination of his computer revealed 34 child pornography videos and other evidence that Leikert obtained child pornography online.
The indictment charging Leikert with child pornography offenses is an accusation only; he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted on either count, he faces a penalty of up to 10 years in prison. He could also be fined up to $250,000 on each charge. The actual sentence, in the event of conviction, will be determined by the Court with reference to the advisory Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
The investigation was led by the Homeland Security Investigations, with assistance from the Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The case is part of Operation Green Wave.
Assistant United States Attorney Christina Nolan is handling the prosecution. Leikert is represented by the Federal Public Defender in Burlington.