News and Press Releases

Former Employee at Seattle Children’s Theatre Viewed Child Porn on Computer at Work

December 3, 2009

WILLIAM EDGAR HOKE, 38, of Seattle, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 18 months in prison and ten years of supervised release for possession of child pornography. HOKE was arrested in April 2009, as part of an ongoing investigation into individuals using password protected web sites to post and trade child pornography. HOKE formerly was employed in the information technology department at Seattle Children’s Theatre. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Zilly said, “What we have got is an industry of child pornography where children are the victims... People such as the defendant help to maintain that industry and that is very disturbing.”

According to records filed in the case, the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) received information in January 2007, regarding individuals in more than 30 countries who were producing, trading and possessing child pornography via the internet. The individuals were using password protected bulletin boards to trade child pornography. In 2008, law enforcement seized the server that housed one of the bulletin boards and linked it to more than 545 registered members. Investigators determined that an email address associated with HOKE had joined the bulletin board in November 2005, and made 260 posts. Following the seizure, a second bulletin board was set up. That server was seized in September 2008. An email address associated with HOKE had posted 60 times between April and September 2008. The posts were traced to internet addresses at both HOKE’s home and work. At the time of his arrest in April 2009, agents seized computer equipment and storage devices. A forensic examination revealed they contained more than 13,000 images of child pornography.

HOKE pleaded guilty August 25, 2009.

The investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) determined that HOKE did not have unsupervised contact with children at Seattle Children’s Theatre. However in her sentencing memo Assistant United States Attorney Mary K. Dimke noted that HOKE chose to work near children. “Hoke intentionally placed himself in a position near children. In the past three years, more than two-thirds of his viewing of the bulletin boards at issue were from his office, a business that caters to children. He downloaded more than 13,000 images of child pornography... Thirty to forty percent of his sexual fantasies involve children. He went so far as to blow up images of young girl’s genitalia and photograph himself masturbating to them,” Ms. Dimke wrote in her sentencing memo.

“Today’s sentencing serves as a reminder that there are consequences for collecting and viewing illegal images of innocent children being sexually exploited,” said Leigh Winchell, special agent in charge of the Office of Investigation for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). “Investigating this type of criminal activity is a priority for ICE and we will continue to dedicate our resources to identify and bring to justice other child predators who victimize children in this same manner.”

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mary K. Dimke.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.

Return to Top

USAO Homepage
USAO Briefing Room
Justice 101
Community Outreach

Engaging in outreach in order to prevent crime, respond to community needs, and promote good citizenship.

Victim Witness Assistance

Making sure that victims of federal crimes are treated with compassion, fairness and respect

Project Safe Neighborhoods

Our nation-wide commitment to reducing gun crime in America

Oficinas de los Fiscales de Estados Unidos En Español
Stay Connected with Twitter