Clinton man charged with child pornography crimes

A Clinton man is facing criminal charges in federal court after agents found 13,400 images and videos of alleged child pornography on his computer, according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court last month.

Among the images and videos of young girls are some that the man surreptitiously took at his home and in a hotel over a period of at least five years, according to a report by a detective with the Bellingham Police Department.

Eric E. Lobdell was charged in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington Nov. 23 with the distribution of child pornography and possession of child pornography.

Detective Pauline Renick with the Bellingham Police Department was working with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which is a program “to help federal, state and local law enforcement agencies enhance their investigative responses to offenders who use the internet, online communication systems, or computer technology to sexually exploit children,” according to the website for the program. It is funded by the Department of Justice.

Renick was investigating an online file-sharing network and was able to download child pornography from a computer that was identified through the IP address as belonging to Lobdell. Agents served a search warrant on his home June 16 and seized his computer, finding a large collection of images and videos depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, the detective wrote.

In addition, the agents also found numerous images and videos of young girls that were “homemade,” the report states. Some of the images were of children at a playground, focused on the bottoms of the girls’ skirts.

Others were images and videos of young girls using the bathroom, getting dressed or sleeping, apparently at Lobdell’s home, according to Renick’s report. Another series of images were of a naked young girl taken by a camera hidden in the bathroom of a hotel room, the report states.

A federal judge released Lobdell from custody on an appearance bond with special conditions Dec. 1.