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Press Release

Purlear, N.C. Man Is Sentenced To 25 Years For Production And Possession of Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – William Jon Patric Ebert, 60, of Purlear, N.C. was sentenced today to 25 years prison for production and possession of child pornography, announced William T. Stetzer, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. U.S. District Judge Frank D. Whitney presided over today’s sentencing hearing and ordered Ebert to serve a lifetime of supervised release and to register as a sex offender after he is released from prison. A federal jury convicted Ebert on July 17, 2020, following a two-day trial.

Robert Schurmeier, Director of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) joins Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer in making today’s announcement.

According to filed court documents, evidence presented at trial, and today’s sentencing hearing, Ebert sexually abused a minor for more than six years. The sexual abuse took place in Ohio and in North Carolina. Evidence presented at trial established that Ebert also used the minor to produce child pornography photographs of the minor, and that he stored those photographs on his computer and other devices he owned. On September 22, 2016, law enforcement officials executed a search warrant at Ebert’s residence in Boone, N.C. and seized several devices and computers. A forensic analysis of Ebert’s hard drive revealed that it contained sexually explicit images of the minor victim.

In making today’s announcement Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer thanked the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Avon Police Department in Ohio for their investigation of this case. 

Assistant United States Attorneys Kimlani Ford and Erik Lindahl prosecuted the case for the United States.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s 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



Updated May 25, 2021

Project Safe Childhood