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Former ‘Playpen’ Member & Child Porn Distributor Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison

sentenced to jail
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A Chicopee man was sentenced to federal prison on Friday for using a secret child pornography bulletin board on the dark web, officials said.

Victor Stepus, 51, was sentenced in federal court in Springfield to serve seven years in federal prison and 10 years of supervised release. Stepus has been in custody since he was arrested in 2015 after investigators learned he had regularly used his home computer to download child pornography, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling.

Stepus was an active user of the now-defunct “Playpen,” a secret child pornography bulletin board that advertised and distributed child pornography online. The site also included discussions surrounding the sexual abuse of children, Lelling’s office said in a statement.

The website existed on the dark web, which let Stepus access the site anonymously, prosecutors said.

When authorities seized Stepus’s personal computer, they found more than 8,000 images and 33 videos of child pornography, including images showing “the sexual abuse, including bondage, of girls as young as eight years old.”

Stepus admitted to authorities that for several years he used his home computer to access and download child pornography two to three times per week. When investigators obtained logs from the Playpen site, they found Stepus was an active user for six months during 2014 and 2015, Lelling’s office said.

In November, Stepus pleaded guilty to three counts of receiving child pornography, and one count of possessing child pornography.

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Written by L Walker

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