Christian Hogle pleads guilty to possessing and distributing child pornography

Warning: The following story contains graphic details.

Christian Hogle, 54, formerly of Eastsound, pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. He was charged in August 2018 and originally pleaded not guilty.

Hogle entered a guilty plea on Dec. 20, 2019. The motion was granted by Ricardo S. Martinez, Chief United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington.

By pleading guilty, Hogle waives his right to a trial, which was scheduled for February 2020, and admits to knowingly receiving, distributing and possessing visual sexual depictions of minors who had not attained 12 years of age. He will be sentenced on March 20.

Federal law prohibits the production, distribution, reception and possession of an image of child pornography, which is defined as any visual depiction (photographs or videos) of sexually explicit conduct involving someone under 18 years of age. If the offense occurred via the U.S. Postal Service or on the internet, it falls under federal jurisdiction. Distributing and possessing child pornography each carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, a fine of up to $250,000 and a period of supervision following release from prison.

On Sept. 26, 2018, an indictment against Hogle was filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. The Seattle court ordered that his release conditions would include wearing an ankle monitor and not residing on Orcas. Hogle has no prior criminal history.

According to the plea agreement, Hogle admits to participating in an internet chat group devoted to child pornography and sexual abuse in September 2017. His iPhone and cloud-sharing application had more than 2,000 images and videos.

“As part of those chats, Hogle sent messages describing sexual abuse of minors, including messages in which he claimed to have previously sexually abused a minor relative,” according to the plea. “In addition, Hogle sent images and videos of actual minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct to other group members over the Internet. … Among these were numerous visual depictions of infants, toddlers … and prepubescent minors.”

Hogle is represented by Emily Beschen of Butler Beschen Law in Bellingham, where he is currently residing. He was confined to his house with ankle monitoring with the exception of attending employment, religious services, and medical, legal or otherwise approved reasons until that bond requirement was overturned in March 2019.

To read the details of Hogle’s case, visit https://bit.ly/3a6Jgzq.