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Maple man sentenced to prison for child porn

David Tjader

MADISON — A Maple man with a long-term history of viewing child pornography, eventually requesting live-streamed sadistic sex acts, was sentenced Monday in federal court to seven years in prison and 10 years supervised release.

David Tjader, 44, used about $5,000 in Western Union money orders to purchase graphic pornography and live-streamed sex acts involving minor girls, according to court documents.

Tjader was caught after a 2017 FBI investigation of U.S. residents who were allegedly paying people in the Philippines to transmit live sexual activity involving minors.

“You requested and enjoyed some very disturbing images,” said District Judge William Conley, based on Tjader’s online messages the government forwarded to the court.

Agents found about 2,000 Yahoo messages between Tjader and a person going by the name of “Pretty Charlene,” sent during a 2½-year span, in which he requested videos and images of children ranging in age from newborns to 13. In messages sent in 2012, Tjader referenced killing and torturing little girls.

A search of computers and a cellphone taken after he was arrested at his mother’s residence revealed 118 images and 138 videos of children under 12 years old engaged in sexually explicit conduct, Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Altman said.

The search did not recover evidence that the specific requested sadistic acts occurred. There was evidence the live shows occurred, but the government did not discover the content of those shows, according to court documents.

Tjader was indicted on three counts of possessing child pornography and pleaded guilty in March.

On Monday, Altman did not request a specific sentence, but wrote the court that the “seriousness of this offense is difficult to overstate.”

“Traders of child pornography are members of a community of deviant individuals who revel in watching the sexual abuse of young and vulnerable children. The fact that the children suffer the sexual abuse in the first place is a horrible reality, but add to that the continued exploitation of such children by persons like the defendant and it becomes a never-ending tragedy,” she wrote.

After court, Altman, who has prosecuted dozens of child pornography cases, said she has never prosecuted one involving live “sex shows.”

Tjader’s attorney, William Jones, sought a five-year sentence, noting his client’s lack of prior convictions and has had steady employment record.

Altman wrote that it is a “complete fallacy” to call this Tjader’s first offense, adding that it’s just the first time he’s been prosecuted. In addition to sending money to the Philippines, Tjader used peer-to-peer software to trade child pornography, she wrote the court.

Tjader told Conley “nothing came of the live sex shows,” which mostly involved adults.

District Judge William Conley replied that Tjader was trying minimize the gravity of his offense and his denials lacked credibility.

“It’s hard to accept any explanation except you have a fascination for violent images,” Conley said.

Conley said he would imposed a longer sentence if it hadn’t been Tjader’s first offense and Tjader didn’t have a possible learning disability.

Conley also said he would request a prison setting appropriate for Tjader’s vulnerable status and could offer him sex offender counseling that would be continued after his release from custody.

Eight victims submitted confidential written impact statements to the court; some are seeking restitution. Conley set a Sept. 7 hearing to determine the amount.

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