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The Times' criminal justice team looks behind the scenes and behind the headlines.

December 3, 2009 at 5:07 PM

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Former Children's Theatre employee sentenced for child porn

Posted by Jennifer Sullivan

William Hoke, 38, a former employee of Seattle Children's Theatre, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court to 18 months in prison and 10 years of supervised release for possession of child pornography.

Hoke was arrested in April as part of an ongoing investigation into individuals using password-protected Web sites to post and trade child pornography. Hoke came to the attention of federal investigators from the U.S. Postal Service, who were tracking the people who had subscriptions to the Internet bulletin board, according to court documents. Agents tracked an e-mail address to computers both at Hoke's home and work, the federal complaint said.

Agents seized computer equipment from Hoke and found more than 13,000 images of child pornography stored on the devices.

Investigators found that Hoke did not have unsupervised contact with children at Seattle Children's Theatre, where Hoke formerly worked in the information technology department, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

"Hoke intentionally placed himself in a position near children," said Assistant United States Attorney Mary K. Dimke in her sentencing memo. "In the past three years, more than two-thirds of his viewing of the bulletin boards at issue were from his office, a business that caters to children."

Hoke had pleaded guilty in August.

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