CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Brian Wittke, 51, a previously convicted sex offender who shared child pornography online and produced child pornography of two children under age two, was sentenced to life in prison today, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Wittke, of Wilkes County, was also ordered to serve a lifetime of supervised release and will be required to register as a sex offender should he ever be released from prison.
Robert Schurmeier, Director of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and Chief Andy LeBeau of the Boone Police Department join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.
“Brian Wittke is a repeat sex predator who caused two young children unimaginable harm,” said U.S. Attorney King. “Protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation is a priority for my office. Our Special Prosecutions Unit is dedicated to removing predators like Wittke from the community and working with victims to ensure they have a voice in the criminal justice system.”
According to filed court documents and today’s sentencing hearing, between March 29, 2017, and July 28, 2020, Wittke engaged in sexually explicit conduct with two children for the purpose of producing child pornography videos. The criminal investigation began when an undercover detective with the Boone Police Department downloaded child pornography videos that Wittke shared online. The downloads led to law enforcement officers executing a search warrant at Wittke’s residence where the officers seized a thumb drive. A forensic examination of the thumb drive revealed the presence of 57 child pornography videos, five of which depicted Wittke engaging in sexual conduct with two children under age two. In 2001, Wittke was convicted in Wilkes County of two counts of Taking Indecent Liberties with a Child.
On October 6, 2022, Wittke pleaded guilty to production of child pornography. He is currently in federal custody. He will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.
The Boone Police Department and North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation handled the investigation.
Assistant United States Attorney Kimlani Ford of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, prosecuted the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.