Ketchikan man responsible for ‘Anything Goes’ child sex abuse ring gets 13 years in prison

The Ketchikan Police Department logo appears on a lectern at KPD headquarters in March 2022. (Eric Stone/KRBD)

Warning: This story contains details of sexual assault.

A Ketchikan man has been sentenced to more than 13 years in prison for running an online group that spread child sexual abuse material.

Last Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess in Juneau sentenced 46-year-old Walter Onstad. Onstad pleaded guilty to one count of distributing child pornography in early 2023.

Alaska District Attorney S. Lane Tucker said in a written statement Wednesday that Onstad was responsible for sharing hundreds of child sexual abuse images through a Kik messaging group called “Anything Goes.”

Onstad was the administrator of the “Anything Goes” group chat. In 2022, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received information from Kik – a messaging service used by a group of pedophiles – that Onstad had uploaded several photos and videos showing adult men sexually abusing minors under 12 years of age. Some of them are babies. and small children.

Investigators then discovered that when new members wanted to join the group, they provided Onstad with images of child sexual abuse. Onstad will then personally verify them, send them to the group chat and grant new members access to the group.

During the investigation, Onstad admitted to helping distribute over 600 illegal photos in a private newsgroup as well as on a Tumblr blog. Law enforcement says he was in possession of more than 300 photos and videos when they confiscated his phone.

The criminal charge against Onstad involves distributing child pornography. The state originally filed charges of unlawful possession of illegal photos on Onstad’s phone. Those charges were dismissed, although Onstad could be charged again in the future.

It is unclear whether other allegations will come from the “Anything Goes” group. Tucker said the district attorney’s office will continue to hold people like Onstad accountable for the “incalculable harm they have caused.”