A Harrodsburg man was one of two men convicted in Pennsylvania this week of being involved in a child-pornography conspiracy.
William Staples, 57, was found guilty of conspiracy to advertise child pornography, conspiracy to receive-distribute child pornography and aiding and abetting the receipt-distribution of child pornography.
Dylan Heatherly, 34, a student in Lemon Grove, Calif., was also convicted in the trial in U.S. District Court in Harrisburg, Pa.
The two men were part of a group that set up a video conferencing website to live stream child porn. A dozen other men pleaded guilty in 2016 and 2017 and another man died before his case went to trial.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Prosecutors said that between April 2014 and May 2016, Staples and Heatherly worked with the other men across the county to create a secure space on a website where people could live-stream child-porn videos to each other.
In July 2015, a Toronto police officer working undercover saw a 6-year-old being sexually abused on the site. Other site users were commenting and encouraging further abuse of the child in real-time, prosecutors said.
Testimony by cyber investigator Tom Bell with the Kentucky Attorney General’s office proved that Staples, Heatherly and the other co-conspirators created a secure space on the website and minimized any evidence of the pornography on their devices.
A sentencing date for Staples and Heatherly has not been scheduled.