Former Boy Scout Leader Receives Jail Time — Western New York RCFL Provides Critical Digital Evidence

The prosecutor in the case cited the existence of pornographic file names on Michael Walleshauer's computer as key.

6/21/11: Former Boy Scout Leader Receives Jail Time — Western New York RCFL Provides Critical Digital Evidence

The prosecutor in the case cited the discovery of pornographic file names on Michael Walleshauer's computer as key to the case against the married father of two. Walleshauser was arrested on July 17, 2010 and indicted three months later. He pleaded not guilty, but changed his plea to guilty in March 2011 on reduced charges of attempted first-degree criminal sexual act and attempted second-degree sexual abuse. According to press reports, Walleshauser admitted to having sexual contact with a 9-year-old boy and fondled the boy's then-11-year-old brother while the child was sleeping in Walleshauser's home.

Upon Walleshauer's arrest last July, his computer was lawfully seized and sent to the Western New York Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory (WNYRCFL) for examination. Prosecutor Robert A. Zucco said the laboratory's digital evidence findings included pornographic file names in computer folders that also contained photos of activities at Scouting events, showing "a pervasive interest in sexual activities involving young boys." Prosecutor Zucco also stated the WNYRCFL indicated that Walleshauser's hard drive showed signs of being wiped using fairly sophisticated software.

The arrest and prosecution of Walleshauer attracted widespread media attention due in part to his involvement with the Boy Scouts for the past 20 years in the nearby towns of Amherst and Lockport. Prosecutor Zucco said that not a single current or former Scout in Walleshauser's troops came forward with further allegations, and the victims in the criminal case were not Scouts when Walleshauer molested them.

On June 21, 2011, Walleshauer was sentenced to five years in state prison for his crimes. The judge added 15 years of post-release supervision to his sentence, therefore if Walleshauser violates any of the terms of probation, he could return to jail.

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