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Posted October 4, 2012 | comments Leave a comment

Winchester man indicted on federal child pornography counts

By Sally Voth - svoth@nvdaily.com

A Winchester man has been indicted in U.S. District Court on three counts of sexually exploiting minors.

Brian Patrick Aronhalt, 31, of 308 Sorrel Lane, was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury in Harrisonburg, according to online court records.

Aronhalt has admitted to police that he is a "boy lover," according to court documents.

The indictment charges him with possession of child pornography and two counts of transporting digital images involving child pornography. The government is seeking forfeiture of any further child pornography and two computers.

An affidavit, written by FBI Special Agent Justin Hasty and filed in the case, states that an undercover FBI officer with the Innocent Images Task Force in Newark, N.J., connected to a publicly available online file sharing program on March 26. The undercover officer then browsed through directories shared by someone with the user name "Newguy543," who was later determined to be Aronhalt, the affidavit states.

The officer downloaded two videos and 145 pictures from "Newguy543," the affidavit states. All appeared to be of child pornography.

The Internet protocol (IP) address was traced back to a woman in the Sorrel Lane home, according to the affidavit. She is Aronhalt's mother, it states.

The pornography involved prepubescent boys engaged in sexual acts with each other or with adult men, the affidavit states.

On May 7, another FBI agent, this one on the task force in Denver, saw that "Newguy543" was logged into a public file sharing program, and discovered he had more than 12,000 photos and videos available to share. The agent downloaded 21 pictures and one video, which was a webcam recording of a boy, according to the affidavit.

One of the images included a pubescent boy, a prepubescent girl and a third child whose gender couldn't be identified, the affidavit states.

It states online chats between "Newguy543" and another online user were archived. They talked about using a video of a girl to entice boys to expose themselves and commit sex acts in front of a webcam, and then recording the video and sharing it online, according to the affidavit.

In an April 7 chat, "Newguy543" stated a psychiatrist and a therapist both knew he was a "BL" -- boy lover, according to the affidavit.

"'...cause logic says, me being a BL is a major part of my life,'" the affidavit quotes "Newguy 543." "'And if i had to keep most of my life from my therapy, then there really isn't much point in going. ..no, what it came down to, is the Mandatory reporting laws, make it nearly impossible for a pedo to get any kind of mental help reguardless if they have broken the law.'"

Law enforcement officers raided Aronhalt's home on Sept. 7, according to the affidavit.

"Aronhalt stated that he is [a] 'boy lover' and acknowledged his involvement in a number of boy lover groups," the affidavit states. "Aronhalt stated that he has traveled to other states to visit boy lovers who he had met via the world-wide-web."

Court records indicate that Aronhalt is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday. He is in custody.

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