For Immediate Release
|FORMAT FOR PRINTING
A.G.'S OFFICE FILES UTAH'S 1ST PEER-TO-PEER CHILD PORN CASE
A West Valley City man is the first person in Utah to be charged with using a file sharing network to distribute child pornography. The Utah Attorney General's Office charged 54-year-old Larry Lyle Buhler with 5 second-degree felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.
"Wherever they go, whatever technology they use, we will continue to hunt down and stop peddlers of child pornography," says Attorney General Mark Shurtleff. "Let this be a warning to parents to monitor their children's use of popular 'peer-to-peer' software. They may be using it to share music but may end up with lots of ugly porn."
A file sharing network is also known as peer-to-peer or P2P. The network allows a person to send videos, pictures and audio directly to another person without using a server. This type of network has been used to illegally share copies of copyrighted popular music and movies. It is also becoming a common way to share child pornography.
"This is the first time we have charged someone for using peer-to-peer technology to spread child pornography but it won't be the last," says Assistant Attorney General Paul Amann, who prosecutes cases for ICAC.
According to court records, the Utah Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) used a search warrant to look at Buhler's computers. Attorney General's Office Investigator David White searched his home computer and laptop and found files from the Gnutella file sharing network. Those files included 5 videos depicting a girl who appeared to be 11-years-old having sexual intercourse with an adult male.
Buhler admitted that he had been trading child pornography for the past year. He had also been convicted 20 years earlier of a sex offense involving a child.
The task force includes investigators from the Utah Attorney General's Office, Utah Department of Corrections, West Valley Police Department, West Jordan Police Department, Centerville Police Department and several federal agents from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. All defendants are presumed to be innocent unless they are found guilty in a court of law.