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Texas Man Sentenced for Possessing Thousands of Child Porn Images

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byMerrill Hope21 Nov 2017Duncanville, TX0

A federal judge sentenced a North Texas man to serve eight years in prison after authorities discovered more than 2,600 pornographic images of children and 800-plus sexually explicit videos of minors on his laptop.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge David Hittner ordered Duncanville resident William Sonak to serve 96-months behind bars, announced Abe Martinez with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.

Sonak, 33, pleaded guilty to receipt and possession of child pornography on June 26 following a forensic examination that revealed his laptop computer contained roughly 2,640 obscene images of minors and 811 videos of child pornography. At the time of his plea, Sonak told the court he was sorry for his actions.

This case came to light in September 2015 when Sonak brought his laptop in for repairs at the Computer Hospital store located in Houston. The store’s general manager alerted the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) about the Dallas-area resident after a technician discovered the massive child porn stash while fixing the computer. Subsequently, the forensic investigation of the laptop ensued.

The U.S. Department of Justice considers child pornography a form of sexual exploitation of a minor. Sexually suggestive and pornographic images depicting anyone under 18-years-old are not protected under First Amendment rights. They are illegal contraband under federal law which also prohibits its production, distribution, receipt, or possession. Even a first time convicted offender can face severe statutory penalties.

Following the completion of his prison term, Sonak will be placed on supervised release for the rest of his life. He will have to comply with a list of conditions specifically designed to inhibit his access to children and the Internet. The U.S. Attorney’s Office did not disclose the restrictions that will apply to Sonak; however, in other cases, authorities have imposed curfews, prohibited interactions with minors, and barred Internet usage in the convicted felon’s home but allowed online access in the workplace. Some convicted of this crime had to register as sex offenders.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Sonak will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The FBI conducted the investigation on this case as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the DOJ, to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.

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