May 18, 2012 6:38 PM by Jenise Fernandez
The first Dreamboard member is found guilty in Louisiana of sex crimes against children. Fifty-five-year-old John Wyss of Wisconsin is guilty on three counts relating to child pornography because of his involvement with the international online network. He faces 30 years to life in prison. Wyss is one of 72 people indicted so far for their involvement in the global sex ring. Evidence at trial showed Wyss was an active member of Dreamboard since 2008, using the alias "Bones."
His postings on Dreamboard revealed he produced child pornography by taking pictures of minors engaging in sexually explicit activities on a webcam and posting those images online.
"That was the goal for people on this board to get higher on the VIP level so that they could access more graphic, violent images of child pornography," said Stephanie Finley, United States Attorney.
Wyss's trial lasted four-days, the jury returning a guilty verdict after only 48 minutes. United States Attorney Stephanie Finley hopes each trial is as successful as this one.
"What this does is kicks off the trial element of it. If these individuals want to go to trial, it's certainly their right, but they'll face an overwhelming amount of evidence. The jury gets it. It's pretty disturbing, but I think they understand the purpose of this board was to exploit children," said Finley.
Forty-one people have pleaded guilty so far, including Edward Oedewaldt of Arcadia. Oedewaldt was a high ranking member of Dreamboard and the key to dismantling the site. He'll be sentenced in July.
"We're going to do our best to protect children in this community and that's really what this is about. They may be images on the screen, but they're actually live children somewhere in our community," said Finely.
This is an ongoing investigation. Seventeen of the 72 charged remain at large and are still known only by their online names. The Dreamboard cases are dubbed the largest international prosecution of child exploitation in U.S. History. Authorities believe there are more than 500 members of Dreamboard from 13 countries. Evidence also revealed that at least 38 children across the world were suffering sexual abuse at the hands of Dreamboard members.