Ketchikan man behind ‘Anything Goes’ child abuse ring sentenced to 13 years in prison

a logo of the Ketchikan Police Department
The Ketchikan Police Department logo is seen on a lectern at KPD headquarters in March 2022. (Eric Stone/KRBD)

Editor’s note: This story contains details of sexual assault.

A Ketchikan man has been sentenced to more than 13 years in prison for running an online group that distributed child sexual abuse material.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Burgess in Juneau sentenced 46-year-old Walter Onstad last Wednesday. Onstad pleaded guilty to the crime of distributing child pornography in early 2023.

Alaska District Attorney S. Lane Tucker said in a written statement Wednesday that Onstad was responsible for distributing hundreds of child sexual abuse images through a Kik messaging group called “Anything Goes.”

Onstad was an administrator of the group chat “Anything Goes.” In 2022, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a tip from Kik – the messaging site the pedophile group used – that Onstad had sent a dozen images and videos of adult men sexually abusing minors under the age of 12. Some of them were infants and toddlers.

Investigators then discovered that new members seeking to join the group were providing Onstad with images of child sexual abuse. Onstad then personally reviewed these, uploaded them to the group chat, and granted the new members access to the group.

During the investigation, Onstad admitted to helping distribute over 600 illegal images on the private messaging group as well as on the blog site Tumblr. Police said he was in possession of over 300 images and videos when they seized his phone.

The charge against Onstad is distribution of child pornography. The state originally filed charges for illegal possession of the illegal images on Onstad’s phone. That charge was dropped, although Onstad could face new charges in the future.

It is unclear if further charges will be brought against the Anything Goes group. Tucker said prosecutors will continue to hold people like Onstad accountable for the “immeasurable harm they have caused.”