Ex-CIA employee snared earlier in classified info bust found guilty of possessing child abuse images
NEW YORK (AP) — A former CIA software engineer already convicted in the biggest theft of classified information in CIA history was convicted Wednesday on charges of possessing child sexual abuse images.
A jury returned its verdict in Manhattan federal court against Joshua Schulte after prosecutors presented proof that Schulte had over 3,000 images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of children as young as age 2 hidden in encrypted areas of his home desktop computer.
At sentencing scheduled for Jan. 10, Schulte could face decades in prison for Wednesday’s conviction along with his conviction last year on charges that he released a trove of CIA secrets through WikiLeaks in 2017.
The so-called Vault 7 leak revealed how the CIA hacked Apple and Android smartphones in overseas spying operations, and efforts to turn internet-connected televisions into listening devices. Prior to his arrest, Schulte had helped create the hacking tools as a coder at the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
A mistrial was declared at Schulte’s original 2020 trial after jurors deadlocked on the most serious counts, including illegal gathering and transmission of national defense information.
Schulte, 34, has been held behind bars without bail since 2018.
In a release, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Joshua Schulte has already been held accountable for endangering our nation’s security, and today’s verdict holds him accountable for endangering our nation’s children as well.”
A lawyer for Schulte declined comment.
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