Big Lake Man Convicted of Attempted Production of Child Pornography
Anchorage, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced that on Aug. 23, 2018, U.S. District Judge Sharon L. Gleason found Stephen Christopher Howe, 44, of Big Lake, guilty of attempted production and receipt of child pornography, attempted enticement of a minor, and attempted transfer of obscene matter to a minor. Howe had previously pled guilty to possession of child pornography.
Howe was found guilty after a four-day bench trial before Judge Gleason. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 7, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. in Anchorage. As a result of his convictions, Howe faces a sentencing range of not less than 15 years in prison up to life. Each conviction carries a maximum fine of up to $250,000, terms of supervised release of five years to life, and a $100 special assessment.
According to evidence presented at trial, Howe responded to an undercover online advertisement posted by a law enforcement officer posing as a minor. Over the next 48 hours, the undercover officer and Howe exchanged 475 text messages. In these messages, the undercover and Howe discussed meeting to engage in sexual acts together. Howe told the undercover that he was an “ebhebophile,” that is “[someone] who like[s] post-pubescent adolescents),” and a pedophile, that is, an “adult who is attracted to children.” Howe also sent two images of his penis to the undercover, and repeatedly asked the undercover to take a photograph of his penis and send it to him.
This case was investigated by the Anchorage Police Department, Crimes Against Children Unit (CACU), with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Reardon.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices nationwide and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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 to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.