Clinton man sentenced in federal court for child porn

A former Clinton resident was sentenced in federal court this week for possession of a large amount of child pornography, including images he made with a hidden camera on Whidbey Island, according to court documents.

A judge in U.S. District Court in Seattle sentenced Eric E. Lobdell, 48, to eight years in prison and 15 years of supervised release for receipt and possession of child pornography.

Lobdell was arrested in November of 2015, following an investigation by federal agents. His computer was identified in the investigation of peer-to-peer file sharing involving images of child rape, the U.S. Department of Justice reported.

His electronic devices were found to contain more than 100,000 images of child pornography.

Lobdell made some of the images and video with hidden cameras. They included images of children at a playground as well as young girls using the bathroom, getting dressed or sleeping, apparently at Lobdell’s home, according to the detective’s report. Another series of images were of naked young girls taken by a camera hidden in the bathroom of a hotel room, the detective’s report states.

“In one instance reviewed by law enforcement, Lobdell adjusts a small child’s clothing to photograph the child for his sexual gratification,” the U.S. Department of Justice reported.

One of the victims said in court that she was “devastated and heartbroken” when she learned someone she trusted had violated that trust. She said she felt “broken, violated and ashamed,” the press release states.

Investigators believe Lobdell did not share the photos he made of local victims over the internet.

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, including detectives from the Bellingham Police Department.

The 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.

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