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LaPorte man gets 60 years in prison for producing, possessing child pornography
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LaPorte man gets 60 years in prison for producing, possessing child pornography

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SOUTH BEND — A LaPorte man was sentenced to 60 years in prison after pleading guilty to possession and production of child pornography, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Eric Weiler — who was arrested on April 17, 2018 — admitted to drugging a child and performing sexual acts on the child while the child was unconscious in or about the spring of 2013, court records state. The 46-year-old then "relived the abuse by writing about it many times in drawings and notes that later were recovered from his house."

In the summer of 2017, Weiler fixated on another child, records state. He intended to kidnap and sexually abuse that child after killing the child's guardians. 

Investigators said Weiler started going into an abandoned house to watch the child play outside. There, various writings were discovered on the vacant home's walls that described his intent to "acquire a girl under the age of 12, ideally a newborn baby, for sexual contact."

During that same summer, Weiler became suspicious of a person and jury-rigged the person's car to explode by rerouting turn signal wires into the gas tank to create a spark, records state. 

 “The facts of this case are horrific,” U.S. Attorney Thomas Kirsch said. “Mr. Weiler’s crimes caused great pain to the victim’s family and could have, but for the swift intervention of law enforcement, resulted in severe and permanent injury to other potential victims. His 60-year sentence reflects the seriousness of his heinous crimes.”  

More than 24,000 images and 80 videos of child pornography — including the clips of him abusing the unconscious child from 2013 — were found inside his home on various electronic storage devices.  

Investigators also found two incendiary devices in Weiler's home — one of which was an improvised explosive device (IED) that later was detonated at the LaPorte County Fairgrounds. A recovered video showed him threatening to use the explosive device to extort sex from an unidentified woman.

In addition to the child porn charges, Weiler pleaded guilty to a single count of making a destructive device. He was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay $26,250 in restitution.

“This lengthy sentence will deliver some justice to the young victims and their families and ensure this defendant will never harm again,” said Special Agent Tim Jones, with the Chicago Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The case was investigated by the ATF and FBI, with assistance from the LaPorte Police Department, LaPorte County Prosecutor's Office, Michigan City Police Department and the Porter County Sheriff’s Department and Bomb Squad.

"Mr. Weiler took advantage of some of the most vulnerable members of our society and his sentence reflects the heinous nature of his crime," said Special Agent Grant Mendenhall, who works with the FBI in Indianapolis. "It also is a testament to the strong partnerships the FBI has with our law enforcement partners and should send a strong message that we will identify and pursue charges against those who perpetrate these illegal activities."

Recent arrests booked into Porter County Jail

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Morning Cops/Breaking News Reporter

Olivia is the morning cops/breaking news reporter at The Times. She spends her time monitoring traffic and weather reports, scanning crime logs and reading court documents. The Idaho native and University of Idaho grad has been with The Times since 2019.

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