Man sentenced in NC for running ‘world’s largest child pornography website’

Steven W. Chase, 58, of Naples, Florida

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A man accused of creating what is believed to be the world’s largest child pornography website has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Steven W. Chase, 58, of Naples, Florida, was sentenced this week by U.S. District Judge Richard L. Voorhees of the Western District of North Carolina.

Chase created a child pornography website called Playpen in August 2014, which has more than 150,000 users around the world, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He was also the website’s lead administrator.

The website is on the Tor network, where users can communicate anonymously through “hidden service” websites.

Two co-defendants who were also administrators on the website, Michael Fluckiger, 46, of Indiana, and David Browning, 47, of Kentucky, were sentenced to 20-year prison terms earlier this year.