LOS ANGELES – A federal judge today imposed a prison sentence of nearly 20 years on a Whittier man who admitted exchanging child pornography – some of which involved infants and toddlers – with others on the internet.
Fred Joseph Stecher Jr., 29, was sentenced to serve 235 months in a federal prison for distribution of child pornography. Once he completes his sentence, Stecher will be placed on supervised release for the rest of his life. United States District Judge R. Gary Klausner also ordered Stecher to pay a total of $55,000 in restitution to 11 victims.
Stecher – who used several online aliases, including “smellyguy1991” and “little_tyke1991” – pleaded guilty in March to one count of distributing child pornography, which followed a prior conviction for possession of child pornography. “Despite multiple search warrants executed at his home, his probationary sentence, jail time, and completion of a sex offender treatment program, [Stecher] still committed the [latest] child exploitation offenses, demonstrating his lack of impulse control and his lack of respect for the law,” prosecutors argued in a sentencing memorandum.
During the investigation into Stecher, authorities executed a search warrant on his Yahoo! email account and found 1,263 unique images and 65 unique videos containing child pornography.
“Some of the videos and images depicted minor victims under the age of 12 being used for sexual acts, including infants and toddlers,” Stecher admitted in his plea agreement. “Some of the videos and images portrayed sadistic or masochistic sexual conduct, specifically bondage, involving minor children.”
Stecher used his Yahoo! email account to distribute the child pornography he obtained on the internet. The sentencing memo notes how Stecher engaged in online chats with other individuals interested in child pornography, discussing the types of children he liked in lurid detail and at times pretending that the children pictured were his own.
The case against Stecher was investigated by the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Los Angeles Police Department as part of the Los Angeles Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Assistant United States Attorney Kathy Yu of the Violent and Organized Crime Section prosecuted this case.