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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Westbrook Man Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography and Extortionate Threats Charges

Contact: Craig M. Wolff
Assistant United States Attorney
Tel: (207) 780-3257

Portland, Maine: United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced that
Michael Van Eekhout, 51, of Westbrook, Maine, pled guilty today in U.S. District Court to
transporting child pornography and transmitting an extortionate threat.

According to court records, in late 2011, Van Eekhout, posing online under an assumed
name, persuaded a woman to send him nude photographs of herself. He then told her that he
would widely disseminate the photos unless she took explicit photos of herself and sent them to
him. When she did so, he posted the photos online. In April 2012, he threatened to continue
doing so unless she sent him more explicit photos.

In June 2014, Van Eekhout, posing as the woman, sent an undercover federal agent a
digital photograph of a naked pre-pubescent female. The next month, he was interviewed during
the execution of a search warrant at his Westbrook home and admitted that he had sent the
photograph and had pretended to be the woman.

The defendant faces a sentence of between five and 20 years in prison, a fine of up to
$250,000, and supervised release of up to life on the child pornography charge. He faces a
sentence of up to 2 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and supervised release of up to 1
year on the threat charge. He will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence
investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office.

The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s
Homeland Security Investigations.

Component(s): 
Updated January 26, 2015