Port Angeles man charged in federal court with child porn possession

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

SEATTLE — A Port Angeles man has been charged in federal district court in Seattle with one felony count each of possession of child pornography and failure to register as a sex offender.

Jeffrey Ray House, 47, who was charged May 16 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, remained Sunday in the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac just south of Seattle.

Court documents say Port Angeles police found images of minors engaged in sexually explicit activity in House's email account after receiving reports in February 2013 that he was looking at child pornography in the Peninsula College library in Port Angeles.

He was arrested March 13, 2013 for investigation of failing to register as a sex offender in Port Angeles, said Brian Smith, deputy Port Angeles police chief.

Other evidence was found that House had chatted online with underage girls about sexually explicit activity, according to court documents.

House was first charged in Clallam County Superior Court in April 2013 with failing to register as a sex offender and multiple counts of possessing depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.

He had been required to registered as a sex offender after he was convicted in 2008 in a military court of knowingly possessing child pornography while he was serving in the Army National Guard in Iraq.

The federal jurisdiction stems from House allegedly traveling across state lines and failing to register as a sex offender in multiple states, including Washington, and allegedly possessing child pornography that had crossed state lines via the Internet, according to the criminal complaint.

House had reportedly lived in Wisconsin and Kentucky before coming to Port Angeles, where there is no record of him registering as a sex offender, according to the complaint.

Emily Langlie, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle, said her office became aware of the case in March of this year and worked with the Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney's Office about taking over the case.

Langlie said the U.S. Attorney's Office was interested because of House's conviction in military court and his history of failing to register in multiple states.

“That put him squarely within the zone of what we would federally prosecute,” Langlie said.

House's case in county Superior Court has been dismissed in favor of federal prosecution, according to Superior Court records.

A grand jury for the Western District of Washington will consider indictment.

The charges included in the initial complaint filed in federal court can change based on new evidence, she added.

“It will be up to the prosecution to present to the grand jury what they think are the most appropriate charges, and then the grand jury will make its decision,” Langlie said.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: June 01. 2014 7:14PM
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