The man behind the source of the world’s largest child abuse image has been imprisoned for 27 years | US News

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A man, who was described by US authorities as the provider of the world’s most prolific child sexual abuse images at the time he was arrested in Ireland, was sentenced to 27 years in federal prison.

Eric Eoin Marques, 36, created and operated a computer server on the dark web, giving users anonymous access to millions of illegal images and videos. Many depict infant rape and torture. According to prosecutors, law enforcement agencies had never seen many of these images before finding them on Marquez’s servers.

Judge Theodore Chuan of the US District Court told Marquez that his crime was equivalent to that of a drug trafficking organization. “This crime was really mean,” Chuan said.

Marquez apologized to the victims and sought mercy in court before he knew the ruling. “I have destroyed my reputation and my family’s reputation. Give me another chance,” he told Chuan.

The judge agreed that the Federal Bureau of Prisons would recommend giving Marquez credit for the eight years he had been detained in both Ireland and the United States since his arrest in 2013. The judge also ordered him to pay $ 87,000 in damages to the victims of the child abuse images he helped distribute.

Judiciary prosecutor Ralph Paradiso said Marquez anonymously abused and exploited children by sexual predators and created an online community to share the horrifying images they created.

“They all got together and sexually exploited the children,” he said. “They enjoyed the sexual exploitation.”

Marquez is a dual citizen of the United States and Ireland and may return to Ireland after the decision. “No one in this court is rebellious against what happened in the case,” said Brendan Harson, a federal lawyer who is one of Marquez’s lawyers. “He will never do this again, and he regrets what he did.”

In February 2020, Marques pleaded guilty to creating and operating a web hosting service called “Freedom Hosting” on the darknet between 2008 and 2013. The darknet is part of the Internet, but is hosted within an encrypted network. It can only be accessed through tools that provide anonymity.

According to court filings following Marquez’s conviction, investigators found what appeared to be images and videos of more than 8.5 million child sexual abuses on the Freedom Hosting server.

Marquez lived in Ireland at the time of the crime. He was handed over to Maryland in March 2019. He pleaded guilty to a plot to promote child pornography.

The man behind the source of the world’s largest child abuse image has been imprisoned for 27 years | US News

Source link The man behind the source of the world’s largest child abuse image has been imprisoned for 27 years | US News

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