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Ex-U.S. cybersecurity official gets 25 years in child porn case

Former federal official sentenced to 25 years in prison for child pornography conviction

A former acting director in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Monday in relation to child pornography charges.

Timothy DeFoggi, who oversaw cybersecurity for the department, was convicted in August of engaging in a child exploitation enterprise, conspiracy to advertise and distribute child pornography, and using a computer with the intent to view child pornography.

During the trial, prosecutors said DeFoggi, 56, registered as a member of a child pornography website in 2012, and was active on the site until December of that year, when the FBI shut it down. Users on the site employed advanced encryption through the Tor network, an app that allowed them to cloak their identities and prevent detection by authorities, prosecutors said.

DeFoggi accessed and solicited child pornography on the site, according to law enforcement officials.

During that time, prosecutors said DeFoggi, who then lived in Germantown, Md., also agreed to meet with another member to “fulfill their mutual fantasies to violently rape and murder children.”

DeFoggi is the sixth person to be found guilty as a result of a wide-ranging investigation into three child pornography websites, all based in Nebraska and run by a single administrator. He also received the longest sentence of the six convicted so far.

Aaron McGrath, the man prosecutors say ran all three sites, was convicted in January 2014 and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

“Those who exploit children will be aggressively pursued and prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” said Deborah R. Gilg, the U.S. attorney for the District of Nebraska, in a statement. “Those who think they are acting anonymously on the Internet will be found and held accountable."

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