U.S. District Judge John E. Steele recently sentenced Eugene Robert Otting, 41, of Lehigh Acres, to 84 months in federal prison for possessing child pornography. Otting was also ordered to serve a 15-year term of supervised release, upon the completion of his prison term, and to register as a sex offender.
He pleaded guilty on June 26.
According to court documents, Otting used the Internet to locate and download child pornography. On April 19, Homeland Security Investigations agents executed a search warrant at his residence. During an interview with HSI agents, Otting admitted to using peer-to-peer file sharing programs to access child pornography over the Internet and to creating Facebook accounts and an e-mail account for the purposes of sharing child pornography.
A forensic examination of Otting's laptop computer, cellular phone and hard drive revealed numerous still images and videos depicting prepubescent minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. More than 600 images of child pornography were located on his laptop and cellular phone combined.
"HSI received multiple reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's CyberTipLine that appeared to be linked," Shane Folden, deputy special agent in charge of HSI Tampa, which oversees Fort Myers, said. "Upon further investigation, we determined that Otting was the common denominator, often utilizing free WiFi at hotels to trade images and videos of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct."
"Monday's sentencing is testament to the fact that HSI will aggressively investigate child predators and ensure that they are prosecuted to the full extent of the law," Folden said.
The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Yolande G. Viacava.
Source: United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida