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Posted December 31, 2013 | comments Leave a comment

Prosecutors seek delay in deciding child porn restitution

By Joe Beck

The large number of victims in a child pornography case originating in Winchester led federal prosecutors Tuesday to ask that a restitution proceeding scheduled for Jan. 23 be delayed.

The prosecutors cited complications in identifying and locating more than 19 children enticed into performing sex acts using online technology as the reason for seeking the delay from U.S. District Judge Michael F. Urbanski.

The defendant in the case, Brian Patrick Aronhalt, could be ordered to pay restitution as part of his sentencing hearing scheduled for Jan. 23. But prosecutors Nancy Healey and Sarah Chang said they want the restitution decided at a separate hearing or a delay in the sentencing hearing, either one of which could be conducted up to 90 days after Jan. 23.

"In light of the volume of data, large number of victims, and the lengthy process involved in generating and serving subpoenas, as well as receiving and processing results, the ongoing efforts to identify the victims in this case has already taken considerable time and resources and remains unfinished," Healey and Chang wrote.

Aronhalt pleaded guilty in August to eight counts involving the enticement of minors in possessing, producing and distributing child pornography. He faces a sentencing range of 15 years to life.

Authorities previously identified 19 boys, some of them as appearing to be between 11 and 15 years old, as among the victims in the case.

But the request filed by Healey and Chang states that the number of victims is actually higher and involves 128 online recordings, not the 19 previously mentioned in court documents.

Victims in the case could be eligible for restitution covering the cost of such expenses they and their families incurred as a result of the crime. Examples cited in the prosecutors' request included "medical and professional services and devices relating to physical, psychiatric and psychological care, as well as other expenses and losses."

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com

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