Whittier man sentenced to nearly 20 years after admitting to exchanging child pornography

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A Whittier man was sentenced Monday to nearly 20 years in prison after admitting to exchanging child pornography, some of which involved infants and toddlers, on the internet.

Fred Joseph Stecher Jr., 29, was sentenced to serve 235 months in federal prison for distribution of child pornography, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

Once he completes his sentence, Stecher will be placed on supervised release for the rest of his life.

The judge also ordered Stecher to pay a total of $55,000 in restitution to 11 victims, the news release states.

Stecher — who used several online aliases, including “smellyguy1991” and “little_tyke1991” — pleaded guilty in March to one count of distributing child pornography, after a prior conviction for possession of child pornography, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

“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 said in a sentencing memorandum obtained by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Authorities executed a search warrant on Stecher’s Yahoo email account during the investigation 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.”

He used his email account to distribute the child pornography he obtained on the internet, officials said.

Stecher also engaged in online chats with other individuals interested for child pornography, discussing the types of children he liked in lurid detail and at times pretending that the children pictured were his own, the sentencing memo states.

The case 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 U.S. Attorney Kathy Yu of the Violent and Organized Crime Section prosecuted the case.

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