Society

Oregon Police Arrest Man They Say Was Downloading Child Pornography With Starbucks Wi-Fi

| by Jared Keever
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Oregon police have arrested a man who was allegedly using a Starbucks Wi-Fi connection to download child pornography. 

USA Today reports detectives from the Washington County sheriff’s office arrested 59-year-old Robert Dietz Saturday at a Starbucks in Hillsboro, Oregon. 

Vance Stimler, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, said Dietz is a registered sex offender who was arrested for the same crime and by the same detective in 2009. Police jailed Dietz on two counts of encouraging child sex abuse. Stimler told The Oregonian that Dietz will likely face “substantial time” if convicted of the recent charges. 

Police surveilled the Starbucks location — which sits across the street from the district attorney's office and the county courthouse — for two months after receiving leads that someone might be using the Internet connection there to download child pornography. 

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Investigators, led by Detective Gary Wright, identified Dietz as a possible suspect and monitored his activity during that time. Stimler said the investigation took so long because it takes time to gather enough evidence for a conviction in such a case. 

“It's not as clear as, say, a DUI. There's a lot of extra steps that go into establishing who the suspect is, what they're downloading, ensuring it's intentional, and getting the district attorney involved,” Stimler explained.

He said Dietz was probably using the public Internet connection to avoid detection. Stimler said such methods only delay detection but can’t totally prevent it. He said Wright has been successful in seeing similar cases through to prosecutions. 

Police also charged Dietz with violating his parole. 

Stimler said Dietz has been convicted of sex-related crimes four times since 1996 and sentenced to more than 13 years in prison. He was put on parole earlier this year for failing to register as a sex offender. Dietz was sentenced to 40 months in prison in 2009 for the same offense he was charged with Saturday. In 1996 he was sentenced to 61 months for sex abuse and another 61 months in 2012 for sodomy, Stimler said.

Sources: USA TodayThe Oregonian / Photo Credit: USA Today courtesy of Washington County Jail, Wikimedia Commons