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Eugene man gets 4 years on child porn charges.

Byline: Jack Moran The Register-Guard

A Eugene man who was among hundreds of people arrested in an expansive child pornography investigation will serve more than four years in prison for his crimes.

Paul Stacker, 64, is expected to report to prison in late January to begin serving the 51-month sentence imposed Wednesday by a judge in U.S. District Court in Eugene.

Stacker was one of 350 people arrested in the United States in 2015 after the FBI took over a "dark web" child pornography network known as Playpen. Rather than immediately shut it down, the FBI made the controversial decision to keep it online for nearly two weeks after taking its creator into custody.

An attorney for Stacker, a former abuse victim himself who suffers from a variety of physical ailments, had argued that sending her client to prison might undo progress Stacker has made in treatment since his arrest.

But Judge Ann Aiken said Wednesday that Stacker needs to "pay back society" and serve time in a federal penitentiary. She will recommend that the Eugene man be allowed to spend his time behind bars in a prison that offers a high level of medical care to inmates.

Aiken gave Stacker time to deal with medical issues before he begins serving the sentence.

Federal prosecutors asked Aiken to send Stacker to prison for more than six years, pointing out that users of Playpen had to intentionally seek out the website on the dark web.

Authorities have asserted Stacker accessed the hidden website to obtain and trade child pornography, using software that enabled anonymous online communication.

But his attorney, Terri Wood of Eugene, has said evidence shows Stacker downloaded child pornography but did not trade it with anyone else.

FBI agents served a search warrant at Stacker's home off River Road in August 2015. After arresting Stacker, investigators found more than 13,000 images and 400 videos of child pornography on his computer, prosecutor Amy Potter wrote in a sentencing memorandum.

Stacker was lodged in the Lane County Jail after his arrest, but has spent most of the time since then free from custody after a judge granted him pretrial release.

Earlier this year, Stacker was sued in federal court by nine females whose images were found on his computers. A settlement was approved by a judge in July. Terms of that agreement have not been made public. The victims each had sought $150,000 in the suit.

Six of the nine plaintiffs in the case are still younger than 18. They appear in child pornography that has been widely distributed online, according to the lawsuit.

Follow Jack Moran on Twitter @JackMoranRG. Email jack.moran@registerguard.com.

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Title Annotation:Crime
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Oct 12, 2017
Words:447
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