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A Bellevue, Washington man was sentenced today to nine years in prison and 25 years of supervised release for distribution of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. WILLIAM MERRILL ORR, 53, was arrested in Iowa in June 2012, and pleaded guilty in January 2014. ORR had relocated to Iowa after the Bellevue residence he shared with his parents was searched in 2011. Agents seized over seven terabytes of digital storage from the home, and forensic analysis revealed more than 800,000 images and videos of children being raped and sexually assaulted. Both the data storage capacity and the volume of child pornography were the largest seized in the Western District of Washington at that time. In line with a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour ordered restitution for the identifiable children who requested it from ORR. At sentencing, Judge Coughenour referenced the life-long therapy the victims will require to cope with the horrific sexual abuse depicted in ORR’s collection.
According to records filed in the case, ORR came to the attention of law enforcement when he used a peer to peer file sharing network to provide images of child rape and abuse to an undercover Homeland Security Investigation agent. Even after the search warrant was served at ORR’s Bellevue home, and he moved to Iowa, he continued to collect child pornography on a new computer.
“Every one of the more than 800,000 images and video files in Orr’s possession depicted a child being victimized,” said Brad Bench, special agent in charge of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations in Seattle. “We must not forget these are real children – real victims – who are subjected to sexual violence. Those who trade child pornography over the Internet are a part of a disturbing cycle of violence against children. HSI will continue to aggressively target those who prey on and sexually exploit children. We owe it to youngsters, who will carry the emotional and physical scars of these crimes with them for the rest of their lives.”
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 United States Attorney’s 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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.The case was investigated by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Marci Ellsworth.