NORFOLK, Va. – A Virginia Beach man pleaded guilty today to possession of child pornography.
According to court documents, Zachary Clouse, 27, was originally identified by law enforcement in November 2016 when Canadian authorities found Clouse posting images of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct to an Internet bulletin board. Clouse, aka Boylover9, asked for violent videos of children being sexually abused from other members of the forum, and posted the same. Later, in 2018, a Virginia Beach resident answered a Craigslist advertisement Clouse posted looking for a “sick perverted boyfriend.” Clouse texted the resident about trying to kidnap a child, so the resident reported Clouse to the Virginia Beach Police Department. Special Agents with Homeland Security Investigations interviewed Clouse, and he admitted to the Internet and Craigslist conduct. Law enforcement also searched Clouse’s cell phones and found additional images of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
Clouse faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when sentenced on March 16, 2021. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
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 U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the 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.justice.gov/psc.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Raymond Villanueva, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C., made the announcement after U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Miller accepted the plea.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth M. Yusi is prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:20-cr-13.