CHARLOTTE — William Jon Patric Ebert, 60, of Purlear — formerly of Boone — was sentenced May 25 to 25 years in prison for production and possession of child pornography, announced William T. Stetzer, acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

U.S. District Judge Frank D. Whitney presided over the sentencing hearing and ordered Ebert to serve a lifetime of supervised release and to register as a sex offender after he is released from prison. A federal jury convicted Ebert on July 17, 2020, following a two-day trial.

Robert Schurmeier, director of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation joined Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer in making the announcement.

According to filed court documents, evidence presented at trial and the sentencing hearing, Ebert sexually abused a minor for more than six years. The sexual abuse took place in Ohio and in North Carolina.

Evidence presented at trial established that Ebert also used the minor to produce child pornography photographs of the minor, and that he stored those photographs on his computer and other devices he owned.

On Sept. 22, 2016, law enforcement officials executed a search warrant at Ebert’s residence in Boone and seized several devices and computers. A forensic analysis of Ebert’s hard drive revealed that it contained sexually explicit images of the minor victim.

In making the announcement Stetzer thanked the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Avon Police Department in Ohio for their investigation of this case.

Assistant United States Attorneys Kimlani Ford and Erik Lindahl prosecuted the case for the United States.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet. Project Safe Childhood also works to identify and rescue victims.

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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