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March 17, 2021Reno, NV, United StatesChild Exploitation

Las Vegas predator sentenced to prison for producing child sexual abuse images following an HSI investigation

RENO, Nev. – A local area man was sentenced Tuesday to 25 years in prison for producing images of child sexual abuse involving multiple minor victims under the age of 12 years old.

As the result of a probe by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Las Vegas, assisted by the Northern Nevada Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, Eric Blair McCartt, aka Aeryne McCartt, 37, of Reno, pleaded guilty in Jan. 2019, to producing child pornography. According to court documents, McCarrtt joined a chat group dedicated to trading child sexual abuse materials. He thereafter used two prepubescent minor victims known to him to produce images of child sexual abuse including photographing his own genitalia on the victims’ faces while they were sleeping. He distributed these images to others in the chat group, and some of the images were posted to the internet. Several of the images were found on the computer of another individual in another country.

“With this sentencing, we have removed a dangerous child predator from the community and sent a categorical message that we are committed to aggressively investigate anyone who seeks to exploit our most vulnerable population – our children,” said Francisco Burrola, special agent in charge for HSI Las Vegas. “Child pornography, when it’s released on the internet, lives on forever to haunt the innocent children whose abuse is depicted in the images. While we cannot undo the damage of his horrible crimes, we hope that this sentence helps with the healing process for his victims and families.”

In addition to his prison sentence, McCartt was also ordered to serve a lifetime term of supervised release, pay $6,000 in restitution and forfeit computer equipment used in the violation. As a result of his conviction, he will be required to register as a sex offender.

“McCartt preyed upon two innocent children, and the exploitation of children will not be tolerated,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Nicholas L. McQuaid. “The production of images of child sexual abuse is heinous and causes incalculable and long-lasting harm to victims. Thanks to the department’s commitment to prosecuting child abusers and the diligent work of our law enforcement partners, McCartt will serve a substantial prison term in a place where he cannot sexually abuse minors.”

Trial Attorneys Lauren Britsch and Charles Schmitz of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section prosecuted the case. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nevada provided assistance.

Updated: 03/22/2021