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Child Exploitation
04/30/2010

Convicted sex offender pleads guilty to child pornography charge

Illegal images discovered on laptop during repair

SEATTLE - A Seattle man who has prior convictions for child molestation pleaded guilty Friday to a federal charge of possession of child pornography, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Clyde Dale Loshbaugh, 57, came to the attention of law enforcement authorities in June 2009 when he took his laptop to Seattle Laptop, a repair shop located in North Seattle. He claimed it was infected with malicious software.

When a technician began working on the laptop, he unwittingly discovered images of nude, young girls. The owner of the repair shop notified the Seattle Police Department (SPD), which confiscated the laptop.

SPD detectives began an investigation into Loshbaugh. They served a warrant in July 2009 and discovered a second computer at Loshbaugh's house.

In January 2010, SPD's Internet Crimes Against Children task force referred the case to ICE for follow-up investigation. Loshbaugh had been identified as a registered sex offender with two prior felony convictions in Washington and California.

ICE conducted a forensic analysis of both computers and discovered more than 2,000 images of child pornography. ICE agents arrested Loshbaugh in February 2010 and he remains in federal custody.

"Every time abhorrent images like this are produced, transmitted, or viewed, one of our most precious innocents, a child, is victimized," said Leigh Winchell, special agent in charge of ICE's Office of Investigation in Seattle. "Addressing this sordid matter remains a high priority for the men and women of ICE and we will continue to seek out and bring to justice those who mistakenly believe the Internet shields them from detection."

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Loshbaugh faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and up to a lifetime of supervised release. He also will be required to register as a sex offender when he is released from prison.

A review of Loshbaugh's criminal history shows numerous criminal arrests and convictions dating back to the 1970s. He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 30.