Masury Man Pleads Guilty to Child Porn Charges

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A Masury man pleaded guilty Thursday to possessing and distributing child pornography depicting children as young as four years old and pictures of fully-clothed family members and friend’s children.

William J. DeClark IV, 32 of 554 S. Stateline Road, pleaded guilty to the charges in U.S. Northern District Court Judge Benita Y. Pearson in Youngstown.

Court records said DeClark worked at an Autozone in Hermitage, Pa. He is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 5.

An affidavit filed by the FBI agent who helped investigate the case said DeClark sent pictures of children who he claimed to have access to and indicated he wanted to molest.

The investigation began in North Carolina by the state’s Bureau of Investigation and their Internet Crimes against Children Task Force and netted at least two arrests, one in West Virginia and one in North Carolina.

The investigation tracked a group of people sending each other child pornography that met on a Russian-based website, according to the affidavit filed by FBI Agent Bonnie Hartman.

In one email DeClark sent included a picture of a 6-year-old family member sitting on a rocking chair. The message included the sentence “Wish I had more pics of her – she’s a cutie!”

Investigators tracked an email address to Travis White, who admitted to taking nude photographs of children and emailing them to others as part of the exchange. The affidavit said one of the email addresses was DeClark’s.

They also found DeClark exchanged child pornography with Christopher Kirby, of Bryson City, N.C., who eventually was charged with child pornography possession, and Michael Jones, of Follansbee, W Va.

Jones, as part of his plea agreement with federal prosecutors in northern West Virigina, told investigators he went to DeClark’s home in Ohio twice and described DeClark’s State Street home.

He told investigators he saw DeClark had child pornography in various electronic devices.

On Oct. 24, investigators searched DeClark’s home. The affidavit said they found child porn on his cell phone, a laptop computer, CDs, SD cards and about 50 pages of printed pictures hidden under his dresser.

The affidavit said three of those pictures included victims that were 4, 5 and 9 years old engaged in sexual or sexualized acts.

DeClark also admitted to trading fully-clothed pictures of a 5-year-old and a 15-year-old girl whose parents he was friends with, the affidavit said.

DeClark said he frequently visited the home and “engaged in wrestling and tickling with both girls.” He told investigators he took the pictures during one of his frequent visits to the friend’s home.

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