NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A 27-year-old Virginia Beach man pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography in federal court on Tuesday, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Zachary Clouse faces up to 20 years in prison for the crime. He will be sentenced on March 16, 2021.
Canadian police first became aware of Clouse in November 2016 when they discovered him posting child pornography on an Internet forum. He asked other forum users for violent videos of children being sexually abused, and he posted similar videos, according to the DOJ.
Clouse posted a Craigslist ad looking for a “sick perverted boyfriend” in 2018. A Virginia Beach resident answered the ad. The resident reported Clouse to the Virginia Beach Police Department after the 27-year-old man sent texts about trying to kidnap a child, according to the DOJ.
Clouse admitted to both the internet forum postings and the Craigslist behavior when he was interviewed by special agents with Homeland Security. Police searched his cell phone and found other child pornography, as well.
The investigation and arrest were part of Project Safe Childhood. The project is a nationwide DOJ initiative to combat child exploitation and abuse.
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