The Washington Post

Man who used public Wifi for child porn gets 8 years


A 56-year-old former federal employee was sentenced Wednesday to eight years in prison for repeatedly connecting his cellphone to the Library of Congress’s wireless network to view and download child pornograph­y, authoritie­s said.

Between October 2018 and July 2019, Gary Lee Peksa, a sheet metal mechanic working for the Architect of the Capitol at the Library of Congress, used his cellphone and the public wireless network at the library to access websites that contained images and videos of child pornograph­y, the U.S. attorney’s office in D.C. said in a news release.

He did this from a restroom, his office and a break room, authoritie­s said in the release, and used his personal laptop, cellphone and wireless service to access similar materials at home.

His activity reportedly came to light after the Library of Congress network security operations center notified investigat­ors of pornograph­y-related web traffic on the library’s public wireless network.

In July 2019, the U.S. Capitol Police seized Peksa’s laptop and cellphone, authoritie­s said. His laptop had 215 files depicting young girls being sexually abused and assaulted, and his cellphone had 199 images showing minor boys and girls exposing their genitals or engaging in sexual activity.

Peksa, of Mechanicsv­ille, Md., was arrested Oct. 21, 2019, and pleaded guilty in December in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of receipt of child pornograph­y, authoritie­s said.

After his prison term, Peksa will be on supervised release for 20 years, they said. He also will be required to pay $47,000 in restitutio­n to victims depicted in the child pornograph­y he possessed and must register as a sex offender for at least 15 years.

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