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Child Exploitation
02/28/2011

North Carolina teacher guilty of sexual exploitation and child pornography

GREENSBORO, N.C. - A former Davie County, N.C., middle school teacher was found guilty of sexual exploitation of a child, possession of child pornography, and transportation of child pornography on Friday, following an investigation U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Davie County Sheriff's Office.

Douglas Lee Ebersbach, 51, was charged in a three-count indictment filed Oct. 25, 2010. After a three-day trial, the jury returned a verdict of guilty on all three counts of the indictment.

The investigation began after the mother of a 14-year-old South Davie Middle School student reported to law enforcement that Ebersbach used a key to enter her home on Sept. 25, 2009.

Investigators eventually found more than 500 images of child pornography on computers in North Carolina and Ohio belonging to Ebersbach. The images included pictures of his former student and included nude photos of the victim.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 28 at 9:30 a.m. in Greensboro. The maximum punishment for sexual exploitation of children is 15 to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The maximum punishment for transporting child pornography is five to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. And the maximum punishment for possession of child pornography is 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

The investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign-national predators whose crimes make them deportable.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Anand Ramaswamy, Middle District of North Carolina, prosecuted the case.