BOISE, Idaho — A Boise man was sentenced Wednesday to serve up to 85 years in prison for sexual abuse of a minor and sexual exploitation of a child, according to the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office.
Gunnar Ericsson, 52, was arrested on a warrant in September, 2018 following a year-long investigation by the Boise Police Department.
“In October 2017, law enforcement received a cyber tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that an e-mail account connected to Ericsson shared six videos of child pornography,” said Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson Emily Lowe.
Detectives investigating the case recognized Ericsson from a previous investigation in 2010 when a victim known to Ericsson reported he sexual abused her and took pictures of her, according to court documents.
Ericsson was indicted for sexual abuse of a minor, but detectives did not find the nude pictures the victim described, Lowe said. “Before trial, the victim recanted the abuse and his charges were dismissed. It was later revealed to law enforcement in 2018 that Mr. Ericsson had intimidated the victim into recanting her report,” Lowe stated.
During the 2018 investigation, detectives found photos of the victim from 2010. “It was found that Ericsson created a new persona of the victim and posted pictures of her to various pornography and modeling websites,” Lowe said.
In addition, child pornography was found on the defendant’s computers, including 144 bookmarked websites containing child exploitative material.
A jury found Mr. Ericsson guilty in November of last year of sexual exploitation of a child and sexual abuse of a minor stemming from the 2010 incident.
The Ada County Prosecutor’s Office asked for an 85-year sentence, with 35 of those to be served before being eligible for parole.
District Court Judge Deborah Bail ordered Ericsson to serve fifteen years fixed in prison with seventy years indeterminate to be served following that.
During sentencing, Bail stated the case’s investigator noted it was the most extensive and elaborate collection of child pornography the investigator had seen and that Ericsson “fed the darkest parts of the dark web.”
Anyone with information regarding the exploitation of children is encouraged to contact their local law enforcement agency, the Idaho Attorney General’s Internet Against Crimes Unit at 208-947-8700 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678.
(photo courtesy: Ada County Jail)