A dual citizen of Ireland and the United States, who was described as the world's largest facilitator of child abuse images, is due to be sentenced by a US court in September.

In February 2020, Eric Eoin Marques from Dublin pleaded guilty to conspiracy to advertise child pornography.

Today, a sentencing date of 15 September was set by Judge Theodore Chuang in the US District Court of Maryland.

Marques was due to be sentenced in May but the matter was adjourned after a disagreement arose between the prosecution and the defence over how the sentencing judge should take account of the six years he spent in custody in Ireland.

As part of a plea agreement, Marques admitted that between 24 July 2008 and 29 July 2013 he conspired to advertise child pornography by operating an anonymous web hosting service.

He was extradited to the US by Irish authorities on 23 March 2019.

According to court documents, Marques operated a free anonymous hosting service located on the "dark web".

It is an area of the internet that is only accessible by means of special software, allowing users and website operators to remain anonymous or untraceable.

The service hosted websites that allowed users to view and share images documenting the sexual abuse of children.

At a sentencing hearing in May, prosecutors described Marques as the largest purveyor of child abuse images in the world and asked for a 21-year prison sentence.

The court was told that the websites involved some of the most heinous crimes against children and that while he did not carry out the abuse himself, he was no less culpable for the harm caused.

Marques' defence lawyers asked for a sentence of 15 years in prison.

They said their client knew what he did was wrong and knew he should be punished but they disputed the prosecution's claim that he made $3.6 million from hosting child exploitation websites.

They also questioned the exact number of images found by investigators, who said the hosting service contained over 8.5 million images of child exploitation material and that over 1.97 million of these images and/or videos involved victims that were not known by law enforcement.