WASHINGTON – A Beaverton, Ore., man, Joshua Kistler, was sentenced to 293 months in prison for producing child pornography, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Karin J. Immergut for the District of Oregon announced.
Kistler pleaded guilty to a single-count indictment on Dec. 14, 2006. As part of his guilty plea, Kistler admitted that during the summer and fall of 2004, he began engaging in online chat sessions with an underage female in Utah. He stated that during these conversations, he pretended to be a 15-year-old boy named “Trevor” and sent images of his 15-year-old stepson to convince her of his age. Through the course of their relationship, Kistler repeatedly talked with the Utah girl about sexual subjects and requested that she engage in sexual acts in front of her “webcam” so he could view and record them, which he did on several occasions. In an effort to ensure the underage female continued her contact with “Trevor” over her mother’s forbiddance, Kistler lied to the underage female that another girl he chatted with online had killed herself because he cut off contact with her due to the underage female’s jealousy. Overcome by guilt, the Utah girl then attempted suicide herself. This suicide attempt ultimately led to the involvement of law enforcement, which led to Kistler’s identification and prosecution.
Following the search of his residence and seizure of various computer media containing sexually explicit images of minors, Kistler made statements indicating that he knew his behavior was illegal and then told agents that he had “always been a collector.” He gave agents detailed information about the software he used to view and record webcam video without alerting the person with whom he was sharing a connection.
During the sentencing hearing in federal court in Portland, evidence revealed that Kistler also engaged in the same pattern with several other minors, ranging from ages 12 to 15, from all over the country. Kistler also convinced these minors to engage in sexually explicit acts in front of their “webcams.” Kistler recorded these acts as well without these minor’s knowledge.
The case was prosecuted by trial attorney Steve Grocki of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity section of the Criminal Division and by Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Nyhus of the District of Oregon. This case was investigated by the FBI and involved numerous districts through the United States, most notably, the District of Utah in Salt Lake City.
In February 2006, Alberto R. Gonzales created “Project Safe Children,” a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices, “Project Safe Childhood” marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about “Project Safe Childhood,” please visit www.projectsafechildhood.net.