Brevard County man pleads guilty to possession of child sex abuse material

A Brevard County man is facing decades in prison after pleading guilty to a single count of being in possession of material depicting the sexual abuse of children.

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62-year-old William Alfred Harris faces a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

According to a statement of facts included in the plea agreement, from May 10 to May 18, 2023, Harris knowingly possessed images of child pornography.

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation first identified Harris as a target in January 2023 after he downloaded the CSAM material through the peer-to-peer file-sharing platform BitTorrent.

According to the plea agreement, an FBI agent went on to download more image and video files from the target IP address, some of which appeared to show children as young as three to five years old being sexually abused by adult men.

Agents served a subpoena for the subscriber information associated with the IP address, revealing Harris’ name and address in Cape Canaveral.

According to the plea agreement, agents executed a search warrant at Hass’s home on May 18 and seized a Dell laptop containing images of child erotica, three file wipers, and encryption software.

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A forensic examination of the laptop showed that the items last deleted by the wiper program had file names consistent with child sex abuse material.

A review of the Windows timeline for the laptop also revealed computer activity consistent with the running of a BitTorrent application, followed by the download and viewing of CSAM, then the running of the wiping software.

A review of the CSAM files on Harris’ laptop revealed that they primarily involved children under the age of 12.

Harris’ sentencing is scheduled for July 23.

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The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched by the Department of Justice in 2006 “to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.”

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, click here.

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