PORT ANGELES — A Sequim man was sentenced to five years in prison in Clallam County Superior Court on Thursday after federal agents discovered more than 8,400 images and videos containing child pornography on his computers.
William Daracunas, 40, who did not speak during the hearing, pleaded guilty in September to a single count of dealing in depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and two counts of possessing depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Prosecutors agreed to dismiss a single count of dealing in depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and three counts of possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Michele Devlin told the court that she deals with “a lot” of cases involving child exploitation and child pornography, and not only was Daracunas viewing these images, but he was sharing with others.
“A lot of people are under the wrong assumption that when it’s child pornography there are no victims,” Devlin said. “There are victims. Every time that computer is clicked, every time that child’s image comes up anywhere in the world, they are being re-victimized.”
Agents and a computer forensics analyst reviewed all of the 8,481 images and video found on his devices, including some involving men with children as young as 2 years old.
“We’re not talking about potential teenagers that could potentially be adults,” Devlin said. “We’re talking young children.
“These are horrific images.”
Devlin said that Daracunas also victimized the law enforcement agents and medical professionals who were forced to review the images.
The agent submitted 4,091 images and 474 videos to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).
A report from the NCMEC identified 225 image and video files as depicting 257 known victims of child pornography.
“These were known victims,” Devlin said. “They are not inanimate objects. These are children.”
As part of the plea deal, Devlin recommended Daracunas serve 60 months in prison. Superior Court Judge Brian Coughenour followed the recommendation.
“These are horrendous images,” Coughenour said. “I didn’t see them, I only read about them.”
Coughenour said that Daracunas’ admission that he knew it was illegal to posses and share child pornography was a good reason to follow the recommendation.
When Daracunas was given an opportunity to speak, he remained silent. Daracunas did not participate in a pre-sentence investigation.
The pre-sentence investigation notes the volume of images and videos found in Daracunas’ possession.
“This suggests that he spent a considerable amount of time and effort in the collection of those files,” the report says. “He also admitted to officials that he knew what he was doing was illegal and that the files he had downloaded were also being distributed to others who were seeking the same images.”
The report says that though there were no victims to interview in the case, “it is difficult to say that this is a victim-less crime.”
“The child victims are left with a lifetime of harm and pain,” the report says. “Many of the children describe being re-victimized each time one of their images is shared or viewed.”
The investigation started Jan. 30, 2018, when the agent downloaded the first image, court records say. The agent downloaded several photos that depicted adults sexually abusing boys and girls between the ages of 3 and 12.
After providing an internet service provider the suspect’s IP address, the agent determined that the images were sent from a computer in a home in Sequim. The agent learned Daracunas was associated with that home.
In March the agent began conducting surveillance on that home before applying for a federal search warrant to search for evidence.
On May 2, 2018, agents from HSI, with the assistance of other law enforcement agencies, served the search warrant and found several computers and tablets in Daracunas’ bedroom.
During an interview with agents May 2, 2018, Daracunas admitted that he had child pornography on his computers and that he had been downloading child pornography at least once a month for less than a year.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].