Mount Vernon Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Possession and Distribution of Images of Child Rape
Registered Sex Offender Used Peer-to-Peer File Sharing to Obtain and Trade Images of Rape and Molestation
A 32-year-old Mount Vernon, Washington man was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 15 years in prison for possession and distribution of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. ERIC BONGIORNI was arrested in March 2016, when a court authorized search warrant revealed he had numerous images and videos of child sexual abuse on his electronic devices. BONGIORNI pleaded guilty in February 2017. At sentencing, U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik also imposed a lifetime period of supervised release.
According to records filed in the case, an agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) was working online in an undercover capacity when he downloaded images of child pornography being shared over a peer-to-peer file sharing network. The investigation linked the images to an internet protocol address (IP address) belonging to BONGIORNI. The law enforcement investigation revealed BONGIORNI is a registered sex offender, with a 2009 conviction in Skagit County Superior Court for three counts of child molestation.
In his plea agreement, BONGIORNI admits he collected child pornography since 2003. One device seized at his home contained 436 images and 267 videos of child pornography.
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 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 www.justice.gov/psc.
The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Hampton.