June 17, 2015

Colorado Springs Man in Car Viewing Child Pornography on Fort Carson Army Base Sentenced to Seven Years in Federal Prison

DENVER—Francis Hector Calar, age 54, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Court Judge Christine M. Arguello to serve 84 months in federal prison, followed by 10 years on supervised release, for possession of child pornography, U.S. Attorney John Walsh and FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Thomas Ravenelle announced. In addition, Calar was ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution to each of the six victims that requested restitution. Calar was arrested in March of 2014 after a military police officer caught him masturbating in his car outside a building with unsecured WiFi on Fort Carson Army Base.

Calar was charged by Criminal Complaint on March 11, 2014. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on April 7, 2014. He pled guilty before Judge Arguello on March 24, 2015. He was sentenced yesterday, Tuesday, June 16, 2015.

According to court documents, at approximately 10:30 a.m., a Military Police Officer was dispatched to investigate a complaint of a suspicious vehicle parked in a public parking lot located at a building on Fort Carson Army Base. Upon arrival, the officer observed an individual sitting in the driver’s seat of a Ford sedan. The officer attempted to contact the individual, later identified as Francis Hector Calar, however, Calar was intently focused on an image of the screen of his laptop computer. The officer saw that Calar was masturbating to a graphic image of child pornography. After finally noticing the officer’s presence, Calar quickly closed his laptop and threw it on the passenger seat. He then put his penis back inside his pants. He was then ordered to exit the car and was taken into custody.

Subsequent investigation revealed that Calar, a civilian military contract employee, often parked in the place where he was initially contacted because he was able to obtain unsecured WiFi access to child pornography. He used this access to view child pornography. Calar first became interested in child pornography approximately five or six years ago after his brother was arrested for the sexual assault of a child. Calar visited specific chat rooms and searched for child pornography during breaks from work.

Calar was active with children, coaching youth volleyball for young girls and youth baseball for young boys. He was also active in his church, and has previously taught Sunday school for children at his church.

The defendant’s collection was highly organized; he acknowledged categorizing files by the ages of the children depicted in the images, such as “0-5” and “6-8”. Further, he had more than 15,000 child pornography images and 764 child pornography videos on an external hard drive and other computer digital media. His child pornography collection included 83 identified child pornography series.

Calar obtained and distributed child pornography through chat rooms on the Internet. He previously used a peer-to-peer file sharing network to distribute child pornography when he was in the early stages of collecting child pornography. He uploaded child pornography to a specific child pornography website. The forensic examination revealed that he eventually evolved to using Skype and e-mail to distribute child pornography to other collectors.

“Today’s prison sentence is appropriate, especially given the fact that the defendant had an extensive, well organized collection of child pornography and that he was involved in many different youth organizations,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “Thanks to the work of the Fort Carson Military Police and the FBI, this child pornographer is being held accountable for possessing these heinous images.”

“Calar’s sentence is an illustration of the FBI’s commitment to protect our most vulnerable citizens, our children,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Thomas Ravenelle. “The FBI will continue to work diligently with our law enforcement partners and the United States Attorney’s Office to investigate and prosecute cases involving the sexual exploitation of children.”

This investigation was conducted by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Division (CID) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Calar was prosecuted by Project Safe Childhood Coordinator Assistant U.S. Attorney Alecia Riewerts.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about PSC, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/ For more information about Internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/resources.html and click on the tab “resources.”