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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Big Lake Man Sentenced For Producing Child Pornography

MINNEAPOLIS—Yesterday in federal court in St. Paul, a 48-year-old Big Lake man was sentenced for producing videos of child pornography. United States District Court Judge Susan Richard Nelson sentenced Joel Grogan Zigler to 300 months in prison on one count of production of child pornography. Zigler was indicted on September 20, 2011, and pleaded guilty on January 30, 2012.

In his plea agreement, Zigler admitted that on October 15 and 16, 2010, he induced minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct, recording it with a digital camcorder. The videos were produced in a Hibbing motel room. The videos, camcorder, and various media were seized from Zigler’s parents’ residence, where Zigler was staying, during the execution of a search warrant.

This case was the result of an investigation by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Hibbing Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin S. Ueland.

Presently, the Justice Department is funding a study concerning the correlation between
involvement in child pornography and the hands-on sexual abuse of children. A 2008 study
(The Butner Study) published in the Journal of Family Violence found that up to 80 percent of
federal inmates incarcerated for possession, receipt, or distribution of child pornography also
admitted to hands-on sexual abuse of children, ranging from touching to rape.

The U.S. Department of Justice is committed to combating the sexual exploitation of
children, particularly via the Internet. In Fiscal Year 2010, 2,235 defendants pleaded guilty to
federal child pornography charges, 2,222 of whom were sentenced to prison. In Fiscal Year
2009, 2,083 defendants were sentenced to prison on child pornography charges. For more
information about these efforts, please visit the Department’s Project Safe Childhood website,



Updated April 30, 2015