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Eberhardt sentenced in child porn possession case PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Friday, 05 February 2016 17:46

Charles Eberhardt, 56, of Imperial was sentenced Jan. 29 to four years and nine months in prison by United States District Judge John M. Gerrard for possession of child pornography.

Eberhardt, a former Chase County dispatcher, will serve his sentence in the Nebraska Penitentiary in Lincoln.

In September 2014, Xoom.com, an online international money transfer service, notified Yahoo! that a number of its accounts were engaged in the sale of child exploitation material.

Investigation determined that several email accounts operating overseas were believed to be selling images, video and live-streamed sexual abuse.  Eberhardt was found to be one of the persons expressing an interest in young children and appeared to be purchasing images, video or live streams of child exploitation material from the seller account(s), according to U.S. Attorney Deborah Gilg.

Evidence showed that at least one wire transfer was sent by Eberhardt to the Philippines. There are also chat logs showing communication with another person in Nebraska about having sex with minors, according to the news release from Gilg’s office.

On June 2, 2015, a search warrant was issued on Eberhardt’s Imperial residence and he admitted to accessing child pornography web sites using the Internet, according to Gilg.

Local authorities were not involved in his arrest.

The forensic investigation of the equipment listed in the Forfeiture Allegation revealed approximately 43 images of child pornography, including visual depictions of prepubescent minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

After his release from prison, Eberhardt will be required to serve a 10-year term of supervised release and be registered as a sex offender.

Chase County Sheriff Kevin Mueller said, in his opinion, Eberhardt’s sentence wasn’t enough.

Eberhardt had worked as a dispatcher in Chase County for nearly 21 years before his arrest last year. Mueller terminated him the day of his arrest.

The 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.

Eberhardt’s case was investigated by the FBI.