Winchester Man Sentenced on Child Pornography Charges
Brian Patrick Aronhalt Will Serve 20 Years in Federal Prison
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 20, 2014|
HARRISONBURG, VA—A Winchester man who previously admitted to enticing 19 minors into engaging in sexually explicit conduct via webcams was sentenced yesterday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Harrisonburg.
Brian Patrick Aronhalt, 33, of Winchester, Virginia, previously pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to produce child pornography, one count of enticing minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct, four counts of producing child pornography, one count of possession of child pornography, and one count of distributing child pornography.
Yesterday in district court, he was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison and a lifetime of supervised release following his prison term. Restitution in this matter will be determined during a separate hearing to be scheduled in the next 90 days.
“Mr. Aronhalt used deception to repeatedly abuse children,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “His case serves as a grim reminder for parents to monitor what their children are doing online. Those of us who work in law enforcement will continue to pursue and prosecute predators like Mr. Aronhalt. We won’t be successful, however, unless parents acknowledge the threat and take steps to help their children stay safe online.”
Evidence presented at yesterday’s hearing showed that Aronhalt posed as a minor female online and enticed numerous minor boys to masturbate for him via webcam, which he recorded. Evidence also showed that the defendant’s collection of self-produced webcam videos depicted at least 100 separate minors.
The defendant learned from others online how to use a sexually explicit video of a female to appear as a live webcast to the minor boys. Using the pre-recorded video, Aronhalt enticed the boys to masturbate for him via webcam and recorded the sexually explicit conduct.
In addition, during the execution of a search warrant, agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the D.C. Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force found thousands of images depicting child pornography on Aronhalt’s computers.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Northern Virginia D.C. Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the Department of Justice. Assistant United States Attorney Nancy Healey will prosecute the case for the United States along with Trial Attorney Sarah Chang, U.S. Department of Justice, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS). CEOS’s High Technology Investigative Unit (HTIU) conducted computer forensic analysis for the case.