The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont, the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, and the Chittenden County State’s Attorney announced that pursuant to plea agreements filed in federal and state court, Eike Blohm, 39, of South Burlington, Vermont, has agreed to plead guilty to one count of Possession of Child Pornography in federal court, and one count of Lewd & Lascivious Conduct, one count of Voyeurism (Circumstances – First Offense), and 19 counts of Voyeurism (Place – First Offense) in state court. Blohm, who has been in federal custody since May 22, 2020, is scheduled to plead guilty in federal court before U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss on July 8, 2021, and on July 13, 2021, in Vermont State Superior Court, Chittenden Unit.
According to court records and proceedings, an employee at the University of Vermont Medical Center (UVM MC) discovered a camera hidden in a unisex employee bathroom in the Emergency Department. Investigators with the Chittenden Unit for Special Investigations (CUSI) recovered the camera and discovered approximately 1,300 videos on the camera. Approximately 900 videos depicted hospital employees in at least two bathrooms at UVM MC. Thereafter, CUSI investigators obtained a warrant to search Blohm’s residence in South Burlington, Vermont, and seized numerous digital devices. A search of those devices revealed the presence of child pornography, some of which depicted children under the age of 12 years old.
The federal plea agreement requires Blohm to plead guilty to an Information charging him with one count of Possession of Child Pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(4)(B). The parties agreed that Blohm should be sentenced within the range of 96-132 months imprisonment, or 8-11 years. The agreement also provides that approximately $39,785.32, the proceeds from the sale of Blohm’s former South Burlington residence that has been held by the Clerk of the Court in the Court’s Registry, will be used to pay restitution to the victims of his offense conduct. The government also agreed to dismiss the pending Indictment, which charges Blohm with Production of Child Pornography, at the time of sentencing.
The state plea agreement requires Blohm to plead guilty to one count of Lewd & Lascivious Conduct, in violation of 13 V.S.A. § 2601, one count of Voyeurism (Circumstances – First Offense), in violation of 13 V.S.A. § 2601(b)(2), and 19 counts of Voyeurism (Place – First Offense), in violation of 13 V.S.A. § 2605(b)(1). The parties agreed that Blohm would receive a sentence of 57-58 months imprisonment on the Lewd & Lascivious Conduct charge, 23-24 months imprisonment on the Voyeurism charges, for a total sentence of 80-82 months.
It is a condition of the federal plea agreement that Blohm plead guilty and is sentenced as provided in the state plea agreement. It is a condition of Blohm’s state plea agreement that Blohm plead guilty and is sentenced as provided in the federal plea agreement. If either the state or federal sentencing judges decline to impose the agreed-upon sentences, Blohm would be permitted to withdraw his guilty pleas in both courts. The parties further agreed that the state and federal sentences are to be served concurrently to each other.
Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan A. Ophardt and Chittenden County State’s Attorney Sarah George commended the investigative efforts of the Chittenden Unit for Special Investigations, Homeland Security Investigations, the Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and forensic examiners with the Child Exploitation and Obscenity section. Acting U.S. Attorney Ophardt and SA George highlighted this case as an example of the strong partnership between the state and federal governments in the investigation and prosecution of offenders who exploit children.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara A. Masterson and Trial Attorney James E. Burke IV of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section are handling the federal prosecution of Blohm. Deputy State’s Attorney Dana Disano is handling the state prosecution of Blohm. Lisa B. Shelkrot of Langrock Sperry & Wool, LLP, represents Blohm in both cases.
Acting U.S. Attorney Ophardt noted that 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 Child Exploitation Obscenity Section, Criminal Division (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.justice.gov/psc