Fairbanks Soldier Sentenced To 72 Months In Prison For Child Pornography
Fairbanks, Alaska — Stephen Michael St. Hilaire, 28, a soldier stationed at Ft. Wainwright, Alaska, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Ralph R. Beistline to 72 months in prison to be followed by a 15-year term of supervised release for possession of child pornography, U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced.
According to documents filed in the case, St. Hilaire was identified by law enforcement using an Internet file-sharing network to trade images of child pornography. A search of St. Hilaire’s computer located in his barracks room at Ft. Wainwright found hundreds of files of child pornography, including images and videos of toddlers and infants being sexually molested by adult males.
At sentencing, Judge Beistline emphasized the fact that while the defendant’s activities may have occurred online, his crime involved images and videos of actual victims of molestation. “The problem is, when you are viewing these kinds of things, [you are] viewing real people,” said Judge Beistline, “[t]hat victimization stays with them their entire life.” Judge Beistline also noted that his sentence was intended to “discourage people from looking at this stuff, so there is no market [for it].” “We as a society are trying to protect young children,” said Judge Beistline.
This case was investigated by the FBI, with assistance from the United States Army, Criminal Investigation Division, and 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 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.