TACOMA, WA – Today Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Elwood Anthon Anderson, 46, with four counts of Possession of Depictions of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct, for thousands of images of child pornography he viewed on his computer.
“Viewing child pornography re-victimizes the victims,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.
On December 21, 2012, Seattle Police began an investigation into the excessive use of a known child pornography file sharing site by one specific IP address. During the course of the investigation, the IP address was traced to the defendant’s Gig Harbor residence.
In May 2013, the Washington State Patrol sent 570 images to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for analysis. Many of the images contained previously identified victims, and all were classified as child pornography. The images depict young children in various states of undress, and some are engaged in sexual activity with adults.
On July 11, 2013, a search warrant was executed at the Anderson residence. Among the items seized were two computers and an external hard drive. Initially, detectives could not locate any child pornography on the computer, but a forensic analysis of the defendant’s external hard drive revealed thousands of images of child pornography and more than 200 videos had been accessed using a “virtual” computer, which is software that allows images to be viewed without creating a record. According to a witness, the defendant indicated that he was not worried that law enforcement would find sexually explicit images on his computer because of his high level of technical knowledge and the methods he used to view the images, including “ghost drives.”
Anderson is married and is a father of four daughters. All family members living in the home said they had no knowledge the defendant was viewing child pornography. He told a neighbor, “In a way I’m glad I got caught ... I’m glad it’s out there so I don’t have to hide it anymore.”
Anderson is scheduled to be arraigned today at 1:30pm in Courtroom 270 of the County-City Building in Tacoma. Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Heather Songer, Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office