St. Augustine Sex Offender Pleads Guilty In Federal Court To International Transportation Of Child Pornography
Jacksonville, Florida – Acting United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announced today that Charles Lee Gorish (67, St. Augustine) pleaded guilty to transporting images and videos of child pornography from Florida to Canada. Gorish faces a mandatory minimum penalty of not less than 15 years and up to 40 years in federal prison. Gorish has been in custody since his arrest in St. Augustine on September 7, 2012. A sentencing hearing has not yet been set.
According to court documents, Gorish, using a fake name, sent a package by FedEx from St. Augustine to an individual in Ontario, Canada. The package was intercepted by Canadian law enforcement officers. It contained, among other things, two micro SD media cards with more than 600 images and videos depicting child pornography, and thousands of images of child erotica. Canadian officials notified the St. Johns County Sheriff=s Office (SJCSO), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations regarding the seizure of this package. Further investigation revealed that Gorish is a registered sex offender. He was convicted in Hillsborough County, Florida on February 24, 1992, for lewd and lascivious conduct on a minor child.
On September 7, 2012, FBI agents and SJCSO personnel executed a federal search warrant at Gorish=s residence in St. Augustine. During an interview, Gorish admitted, among other things, that he downloaded the files depicting the sexually explicit images of young boys on the SD cards from the Internet, over a period of years. Gorish was subsequently arrested.
This case was investigated by the Canadian Border Services Agency, Ottawa Police Services, St. Johns County Sheriff's Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.
It is another case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc.