Man sentenced to eight years in prison for possession of child pornography

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — A former Columbia man was sentenced to eight years in prison Monday for possessing more than 6,000 images and 300 videos of child pornography.

Nathan Eyberg, 29, pleaded guilty in July to two counts of possession of child pornography. On Monday in the 13th Circuit Court for Boone County, Eyberg and his attorney, Christopher Slusher, asked the judge for probation instead of a prison sentence.

Slusher said Eyberg is a good candidate for probation because he is sorry for what he did, has no prior felonies and has a family that is willing to stand by him. Eyberg’s parents testified on his behalf at the sentencing hearing, saying they don’t condone what he did but that they will continue to support him.

But on cross-examination, Boone County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Merilee Crockett took the opportunity to remind Eyberg’s parents and the court exactly what Eyberg pleaded guilty to.

Crockett, who recommended a 10-year prison sentence, said the pictures and videos on Eyberg’s computer depicted the abuse of children as young as 3 years old. She also said Eyberg had organized the files on his computer and had created CDs containing the pictures and videos.

Eyberg was arrested on Feb. 11 after an investigation by the Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force, which focuses on Internet-related crime. Eyberg had allegedly offered a number of files of child pornography over an online file-sharing program, prompting the investigation.

After the sentence was read on Monday afternoon, Eyberg gave a prepared statement to the court. He said he never intended to gather child pornography, but that he came across the files during Internet searches.

He was sentenced to eight years in prison for each count of possession of child pornography. He will serve the sentences concurrently.

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