Casper Man Charged With Child Pornography Possession; Images Are Brutal
(A cautionary note: This story contains a redacted searing and horrific description of child pornography described in an affidavit in Natrona County District Court records.)
A Casper man has been charged with five counts of sexual exploitation of children -- possessing child pornography -- with each count referring to a video of a brutal assault on prepubescent children, according to court documents.
Eric J. Evans was bound over to Natrona County District Court on Thursday after he waived his preliminary hearing. He made his initial appearance to formally hear the charges in Natrona County Circuit Court on Aug. 15. Per state statute, K2Radio News is barred from writing about alleged sex offenders until they are bound over to a higher court.
Conviction of sexual exploitation of children, in this case knowingly possessing child pornography, is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.
During his initial appearance, the judge set a $100,000 cash-only bond.
The case started first as a drug possession case on Aug. 5, according to the affidavit written by an agent with the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation.
The agent was conducting a narcotics investigation based on a report from the Casper Police Department about a traffic stop of Evans.
Evans was charged with two counts -- possession of methadone and possession of marijuana -- of a third or subsequent charge of felony possession of a controlled substance, which is punishable by up to five years imprisonment. (The previous convictions were in Sweetwater County.)
On Aug. 7, the DCI agent had obtained a search warrant from a Natrona County Circuit Court judge. He was reviewing Evans' cell phone when the agent found suspected files of child pornography and stopped his search.
The agent immediately notified investigators with the Internet Crimes Against Children Team and a forensic analyst with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
An ICAC agent obtained a second search warrant.
On Aug. 8, the investigators reviewed the files and found approximately 46 videos and 2,045 images of child pornography including files with sadomasochism, infants and toddlers, and bestiality, according to the affidavit.
That day, two agents contacted Evans at the Natrona County Detention Center. Evans said he understood his rights and agreed to talk to them.
Evans told the agents he originally was from the Green River/Rock Springs area, moved to Casper in December, was homeless and living with other individuals, and recently became addicted to drugs again.
The agents told him that they weren't at the jail to talk about drugs, but rather about the child pornography files discovered on his cell phone, according to the affidavit.
Evans initially denied knowing anything about the files, saying others had used his phone.
As the interview progressed, Evans said he originally accessed the dark web through a TOR browser to learn how to make LSD and the psychedelic drug DMT.
During the interview, Evans several times denied that he was a pedophile.
At one point while downloading a file about how make different types of drugs, he also downloaded some child pornography files, but didn't know how to erase them.
Evans added he was "'not into kids, but was into rape and stuff like that,'" said he didn't intentionally download anything about children, then said he did, according to the affidavit.
He told the agents he first saw child pornography about five months earlier on the TOR browser.
At one point, Evans told the agents, "'This is going to end up f-----g me so I go to prison for these charges but I did it you know what I mean?'"
He said he thought he may have downloaded four, five, 10 or 15 files, adding "'I have no f-----g clue. I would rather be dead than going to prison for this s--t for real.'"
Evans finally told an agent the passcode to the phone, which was the military time of the birthdate of his oldest daughter.
The affidavit listed five exemplar files, each of which corresponds to one of the five counts in the criminal information document.
One file, 5:43 minutes long, "... depicted a prepubescent female child and what appeared to be an adult female wearing a mask. The video starts with the adult female removing a diaper from the child. The adult female then rubs what appeared to be an ice cube ... and the child begins crying. ... The naked female child later has its feet tied up and duct tape over the child's mouth. The child is hung upside down over a bed by her feet. The adult female then applied nipple clamps to the female child and began slapping .... Various other forms of torture are conducted on the female child as it is tied up including hot wax being poured on her. The female child is screaming and crying throughout the video."