Gavel

An Eau Claire man accused of having a computer tablet that contained more than 3,000 images of child erotica, including many images of child pornography, has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Eau Claire County Judge Sarah Harless also sentenced Troy P. Hoople, 50, to 10 years of extended supervision following his release from prison.

Harless set the following conditions of extended supervision: Hoople can’t possess or use a smartphone, tablet or computer with internet access without permission from the Department of Corrections and approved monitoring software. He also can’t have contact with minors and must participate in and complete all programming deemed appropriate by the department.

Police were alerted to Hoople by a Canadian who volunteers his time monitoring internet activity for child predators, child pornography or other inappropriate internet content.

According to the criminal complaint:

The Canadian told Eau Claire police that he observed an online video chat on a mobile phone application involving a girl who appeared to be about 12 years old.

The Canadian said a man with the screen name of Troy Hoople texted the girl inappropriate requests and questions — to expose herself and be his girlfriend — as the video was streaming.

The girl, who had been wearing a bikini, could be seen changing into other clothes and then was in her underwear.

The Canadian contacted Hoople online and told him what he was doing was wrong.

Hoople denied he was doing anything wrong but subsequently deleted the live stream video from his account.

The Canadian was able to identify Hoople as an Eau Claire resident through the social media platform Facebook.

Police were able to download the app in question and verified Hoople’s involvement.

Police determined Hoople was following several young females through the online phone app.

In October 2016, police executed a search warrant at Hoople’s residence on Broadview Place, where they found and seized the tablet.

A man told police on Oct. 31, 2016, that Hoople contacted him four days earlier and told him that he needed to leave Eau Claire for a family emergency in Denver.

Hoople asked the man to drop his car off at Royal Credit Union, return his work uniform and take care of his residence.

The man then went to Hoople’s residence where he found a deed to Hoople’s trailer and a letter from Hoople that said he was leaving his belongings, including the trailer, to the man.

Contact: 715-830-5838, christena.obrien@ecpc.com, @CTOBrien on Twitter