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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 18, 2018

Newport News Man Convicted of Searching for Obscene Images Online While on Federal Supervision

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A federal jury convicted a Newport News man today of attempted receipt of obscene images depicting the sexual abuse of children, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and penalties for a registered sex offender.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Elmer E. Eychaner, III, 46, previously was convicted in federal court of child pornography crimes in 2008. On June 13, 2016, the defendant began a period of federal supervision in the Eastern District of Virginia. The defendant originally was prohibited from having a computer, but he requested a computer so that he could look for a better job. The probation office allowed the defendant to have a computer that was monitored through a third-party company, RemoteCOM.

On November 17, 2016, the defendant went onto his government-monitored computer and searched for obscene cartoon images depicting the sexual abuse of minors. He utilized voice recognition software, Cortana, to try to evade the computer-monitoring software. After he was finished searching for the obscene images, he deleted his search history. The next day, he called his federal probation officer and confessed. When the probation officer told him she was coming to collect his computer, he admitted that he had removed the hard drive and thrown it down a storm drain.

Eychaner previously was convicted of promoting obscenity to minors in North Dakota on August 21, 1992, and gross sexual imposition in North Dakota on May 10, 1994.

Eychaner faces a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison when sentenced on August 23, 2018. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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.justice.gov/psc.

Tracy Doherty-McCormick, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Mark S. Davis accepted the verdict. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lisa R. McKeel and Megan M. Cowles are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:17-cr-76.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated May 21, 2018