Hogle trial postponed until November

The trial of an Orcas man accused of possessing and distributing child pornography has been postponed once again, until Nov. 18, 2019, to give the defense additional time to prepare. The motion was granted by Judge Ricardo S. Martinez on April 2.

Eastsound resident Christian Hogle, 54, was charged with one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography in August 2018. He pleaded not guilty to both federal offenses.

On Sept. 26, 2018, an indictment against Hogle was filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. The Seattle court ordered that his release conditions would include wearing an ankle monitor and not residing on Orcas. Hogle has no prior criminal history.

Federal law prohibits the production, distribution, reception and possession of an image of child pornography, which is defined as any visual depiction (photographs or videos) of sexually explicit conduct involving someone under 18 years of age. If the offense occurred via the U.S. Postal Service or on the internet, it falls under federal jurisdiction. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, a first-time offender convicted of distributing child pornography faces a statutory minimum of five to 20 years in federal prison. Possession of child pornography carries a maximum sentence of 10 years for a first-time offender.

Hogle is being represented by Emily Beschen of Butler Beschen Law in Bellingham, where he is currently residing. He was confined to his house with ankle monitoring with the exception of attending employment, religious services, and medical, legal or otherwise approved reasons until that bond requirement was overturned in March.

Hogle is now required to participate in a location monitoring program and abide by a curfew. He is still not permitted to own or use an electronic device that can connect to the internet, have contact with anyone under age 18 or be near an area where minors are present. His whereabouts prior to the noncurfew hours are not subject to prior approval. Additionally, he must contribute financially to the cost of the tracking services provided.

“He has been compliant with all the program rules and has not had any violations while on the program,” U.S. Probation Officer Gina L. Martinis said in a pretrial petition. “His primary focus is his mental health. … He is also actively seeking employment.”

To read the details of Hogle’s case, visit http://www.islandssounder.com/news/christian-hogle-arrested-for-allegedly-distributing-child-pornography/.