BUCKLAND, Mass (Reuters) - A former Connecticut man was sentenced on Tuesday to 45 years in prison followed by a life term of parole for making and distributing child pornography during his abuse of an eight-year old girl several years ago.
Some of the pictures are among the most widely distributed images of child porn, authorities say. To date, the victim's images have been identified in more than 3,300 child pornography criminal investigations, both domestically and abroad.
William Oehne, 50, lived in Fairfield, Connecticut when he photographed himself engaged in sexually explicit conduct with the young girl between 2004 and 2006, and then distributed the pictures over the Internet, said David Fein, U.S. Attorney in Connecticut, in a statement.
Court documents showed Oehne "engaged the victim in a lengthy grooming process involving trickery and threats, and he enticed her to engage in sex acts by promising her gifts of clothes and electronics," Fein said.
Judge Janet Hall in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport, Connecticut, sentenced Oehne to 360 months of imprisonment for producing child pornography, and a consecutive sentence of 180 months of imprisonment for distributing child pornography. Hall also found Oehne sexually abused other minor girls after he moved to Amelia, Virginia, from Connecticut.
"This significant sentence is appropriate for an individual who not only repeatedly sexually abused a young girl but also documented his abuse and shared it with others through the Internet," U.S. Attorney Fein said.
"As a result, the heinous pictures he created have become some of the most-viewed images of child pornography available on the Internet today, ensuring that his victim will continue to be victimized by traders and viewers of child pornography for the rest of her life."
The FBI initiated an investigation into Oehne in January 2006 after he relocated to Virginia, Fein said.
INTERPOL, which became involved that same month, found identifying details after magnifying the photographs. In one image, the girl was standing before a decorative plate with her first name and birth date. A separate image contained a "Mickey Mouse" hat with her first name stenciled on the back.
The girl identified Oehne as her abuser in a March 2009 interview with an FBI employee, and Oehne was arrested in Virginia that month.
He had been free on a state bond related to the sexual abuse of a 15-year-old girl. On October 19, 2010, he pleaded guilty to one count of producing child pornography and one count of distributing child pornography.
(Reporting by Zach Howard, Editing by Jerry Norton)