CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A federal jury in Charlotte has convicted William Jon Patric Ebert, 60, of Boone, N.C. of child pornography charges, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. U.S. District Judge Frank D. Whitney presided over the trial. The jury returned the guilty verdict on Friday, July 17, 2020, following a two-day trial.
According to filed court documents and evidence presented at trial, Ebert sexually abused a minor for more than six years. The sexual abuse took place in Ohio and in North Carolina. Evidence presented at trial established that Ebert also used the minor to produce child pornography photographs of the minor, and that he stored those photographs on his computer and other devices he owned. On September 22, 2016, law enforcement officials executed a search warrant at Ebert’s residence in Boone and seized several devices and computers. A forensic analysis of Ebert’s hard drive revealed that it contained sexually explicit images of the minor victim.
The jury convicted Ebert of using a minor to produce child pornography photographs of the minor. The jury also convicted Ebert of possessing those photographs. He was found not guilty of transporting a minor with intent to engage in sexual criminal activity. Ebert is currently in federal custody. A sentencing date has not been set.
The production of child pornography charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. The possession of child pornography charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Both charges carry a maximum fine of $250,000.
In making today’s announcement U.S. Attorney Murray thanked the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Avon Police Department in Ohio for their investigation of this case.
Assistant United States Attorneys Kimlani Ford and Eric Lindahl are prosecuting the case for the United States.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.