Investigators: Man's basement had dungeon for children
WORCESTER, Mass. (WHDH) -- Federal investigators said they found a basement dungeon in the home of a Worcester man who was allegedly planning to kidnap children.
Geoffrey Portway, 40, a British citizen living in Worcester, has pled guilty to solicitation of kidnapping and possession and distribution of child pornography charges. The guilty plea comes after an extensive worldwide investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations.
The U.S. Attorney’s evidence shows Portway kept a sound-proof dungeon in the basement of his home. The dungeon was complete with a homemade child-sized coffin, a steel cage and multiple freezers, scalpels and butchering kits.
“My backyard is next to his basement -- that door was always locked,” said Ernild Hako, a neighbor.
On July 27, 2012, agents executed a federal search warrant at Portway’s Worcester home. Various computers and digital devices containing a pornography collection were seized. A computer Portway allegedly used to trade child photography and attempt to plan the abduction of a child was also seized.
Officials raided the home and arrested Portway last summer, hauling away several computers.
“I just thought there was someone dead in the basement because they were all over the basement with masks all over with their faces, so I thought there was someone dead there for probably a couple weeks,” said Hako.
For years, experts from Homeland Security Investigations in Boston have tracked cyber crimes worldwide, especially those taking advantage of children.
“And it’s almost like an onion. We’re peeling back the onion bit by bit. Every stop of the way we identify more, unfortunately, more children who are being abused, but we’re making more arrests,” said Bruce Foucart of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The government’s statement of facts show agents found tens of thousands of images and videos depicting children being tortured and raped on Portway’s computer. Agents found evidence in which Portway used Skype and Yahoo to talk with others with similar perversions using the computer handle “Fat Longpig”.
ICE agents said Portway asked Michael Arnett of Kansas to abduct children for him to bring to his dungeon. Arnett has pleaded guilty to the sexual exploitation of a child for the purposes of producing child pornography.
Agents said Portway wrote of his plans to attack and torture victims, and cannibalize them.
Portway faces 18 to 27 years in jail. He will be sentenced in August.