Ketchikan man behind ‘Anything Goes’ child sexual abuse material ring gets 13 years

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

Editor’s note: This story contains details of sexual assault. 

A Ketchikan man was sentenced to over 13 years in prison for running an online group that distributed child sexual abuse material.

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess in Juneau handed the sentence to 46-year-old Walter Onstad last Wednesday. Onstad pled guilty to one felony count of distributing child pornography in early 2023.

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

Onstad was an administrator of the “Anything Goes” group chat. In 2022, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a tip from Kik – the messaging site that the pedophile group used – that Onstad had sent a dozen images and videos of adult men sexually abusing minors under the age of 12. Some were infants and toddlers.

Investigators then found out that when new members wanted to enter the group, they would provide Onstad with images of child sexual abuse. Onstad would then personally verify them, upload them to the group chat, and grant the new members access to the group. 

During the investigation, Onstad admitted to helping distribute over 600 illicit images across the private messaging group, as well as the blog site Tumblr. Law enforcement says that he was in possession of over 300 images and videos when they seized his phone. 

The felony charge against Onstad is for the distribution of child pornography. The state originally pursued criminal possession charges for the illicit images on Onstad’s phone. Those charges were dismissed, though Onstad could be charged again in the future.

It’s unclear whether other charges will stem from the “Anything Goes” group. Tucker said that the DA’s office will continue to hold people like Onstad responsible for the “incalculable damage they’ve caused.”

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