Sex Offender, William Carl Eikenberg Pleads Guilty to Access with Intent to View Child Pornography
Defendant Possessed and Shared Videos Depicting the Sexual Abuse of Prepubescent Children via a Peer-to-Peer Network
Baltimore, MD (STL.News) William Carl Eikenberg, Jr., age 51, of Edgewater, Maryland pleaded guilty yesterday to access with intent to view child pornography.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Anne Arundel County Police Chief Amal E. Awad.
Eikenberg previously entered a guilty plea to distribution of child pornography in the Circuit Court of Maryland for Anne Arundel County in August 2016. Eikenberg admitted that he used BitTorrent through a personal cell phone to download and trade child pornography. BitTorrent is a communication protocol for peer-to-peer file sharing network that enables users to distribute electronic files over the internet. Eikenberg served 114 days in jail and was placed on five years of supervised probation. As a result of his conviction, Eikenberg was required to register as a sex offender.
According to his guilty plea, between April 2017 and September 2017, Eikenberg knowingly possessed and accessed with intent to view child pornography, including content depicting the exploitation of prepubescent minors being used to engage in sexual conduct. These visual depictions included at least 94 video files and 80 images of child pornography. Eikenberg admitted that he knew the production of the depictions involved minors engaged in sexual activity.
As part of his investigation, on July 3, 2017, and September 3, 2017, an Anne Arundel County Police Department (AAPD) detective identified several known electronic files of child pornography being shared by an IP address assigned to Eikenberg’s Edgewater, Maryland address. These files included a 21-minute video that portrayed a prepubescent female engaged in sexual activity with an adult male and several other shorter videos that also depicted the sexual abuse of minors.
Further, on September 6, 2017, AAPD learned that Eikenberg had stopped attending sex offender treatment and fled from probation supervision. On September 22, 2017, Eikenberg ran out the backdoor of his residence and attempted to evade authorities as AAPD officers and Eikenberg’s probation officer approached his residence for a home visit. Eikenberg was later apprehended, taken into custody, and transported to an AAPD station.
In a subsequent voluntary interview, Eikenberg stated that he used the BitTorrent network to view child pornography between April and September 2017.
Eikenberg and the government have agreed that, if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Eikenberg will be sentenced to 10 years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander has scheduled sentencing for January 20, 2022 at 11 a.m.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, 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 Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the FBI, Anne Arundel County Police Department, the Maryland State Police Department, and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew J. Maddox and Abigail E. Ticse, who are prosecuting the federal case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey J. Izant, for his work in the prosecution of the case.