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4chan camgirl Loli-chan grows up

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“I want my relationship with Lucien to have been my first, but I had these pseudo-relationships first,” she says. “It wasn’t them I was in love with. It was the idea of them they tried to represent.”

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Zach is drunk enough on good Scotch that he has switched to swigging Old Grand-Dad whiskey straight from a plastic-capped bottle. It’s an economical decision, says the pudgy 38-year-old, because it all tastes the same after a certain point. He’s wearing an old East German officer’s hat. At 1:30 in the morning on a Tuesday ― a school night for the University of Rhode Island senior ― he pulls up a video he’s seen hundreds of times.

Zach puts down the antique C96 Mauser he’s brandishing to click “play” on a YouTube video of a preteen Loli spinning around in a plush computer chair. As she squeals with delight, a smile creeps across Zach’s face, and he pushes his ratty shoulder-length brown hair away from his eyes for a better look. His bloodshot eyes begin to gloss over.

“Isn’t she cute?” he muses, though it’s not clear whom he’s asking.

Zach is one of the many fans with whom Loli regularly Skypes. There are also a handful of other hard-core obsessives who send expensive gifts such as DSLR cameras and oddities like dresses and maid outfits befitting a doll. (Zach sends mostly books.) One fan who lives in England even has a stick-and-poke tattoo of Loli’s face on his forearm, she says.

But for all the men she keeps up with online, there are an untold number of others who hoard her photos, a fact that haunts her every time she steps outside. A 44-year-old doctoral student at Temple University named Rod Vosburgh was one of them.

In October 2006, FBI Special Agent Wade Luders posted a link on the pedophile message board Ranchi under the alias “Bongzilla.” Although it was advertised as a hard-core porn video featuring a four-year-old, the URL really led to a computer program that would track the IP addresses of anyone who clicked it. Vosburgh, a Holocaust expert, was one of the people who tried to download the video.

The FBI obtained a warrant for Vosburgh in February 2007 by tracking his location and concluding that he lived alone. The day of his arrest, agents were on guard for a reprisal, because they knew their target owned more than a dozen guns. Upon hearing the sound of scraping metal emanating from inside Vosburgh’s home in Media, Pennsylvania, they positively freaked.

The agents knocked on his front door for more than thirty minutes, yelling that someone had vandalized the alleged pedophile’s car. But the attempt to lure him outside didn’t work. Finally, Vosburgh appeared and apologized, saying he’d been using the restroom.

He had, in fact, been in the bathroom. Court records show that smashed thumb drives were found floating in his toilet. Although Vosburgh was found with an AK-47, shotguns, assault rifles, semi-automatic handguns, revolvers and cartridges, what officers thought to be a gun was really the sound of their target dismantling his computer tower.

The feds couldn’t restore the thumb drives, but they were able to locate an external hard drive containing two illegal images of underage girls. The child porn almost seemed like a footnote, considering they also found nearly every other kind of smut imaginable. There was an overwhelming amount of “child erotica” ― images that showed young kids posed in suggestive ways that aren’t overtly sexual. Among them was a cache of more than 2,015 Loli-chan images.

According to the FBI, “Loli-chan is the name of a thirteen-year-old girl who posts pictures of herself on imageboards and enjoys hearing from her older male fans. In these images, Loli-chan is, for example, licking a lollipop; in the bathroom wearing a robe and making a kissing expression; in a swimsuit at a pool; in a Mini-Mouse outfit; in a school uniform sitting on the floor barefoot; and sitting clothed on a toilet. In many of these images, the girl is holding signs that say, “I’m thirteen,” “Google your own porn,” “kock swerve is gay” [and various other vulgar, nonsensical phrases].”

Prosecutors said Vosburgh’s possession of these images was proof he had a sexual interest in young girls and that his clicking the booby-trapped link wasn’t an accident. A jury agreed, and Vosburgh was sentenced to fifteen months in federal prison and three years of supervised release. He tried, unsuccessfully, to appeal in 2010.

Zach, the 38-year-old college student, also insisted he wasn’t a pedophile when I spoke with him by Skype on a recent Wednesday evening. He merely feels protective of Loli, he says, and considers her a friend.

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Allie Conti
Contact: Allie Conti