Minneapolis Man Indicted For Distributing, Possessing Child Pornography
MINNEAPOLIS—A federal indictment unsealed late last week charges a 50-year-old Minneapolis man with distributing and possessing numerous child pornographic videos. The indictment, which was filed on May 8, 2012, charges Robert Andrew Gozola with six counts of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. On May 18, 2012, the indictment was unsealed following Gozola’s initial appearance in federal court.
The indictment alleges that between October 6, 2011, and January 6, 2012, Gozola distributed via the Internet visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. In addition, it alleges that on January 19, 2012, Gozola possessed similar material. The images were found on Gozola’s computer, which was seized during the execution of state search warrant of his residence on January 19. The images and videos also included sadistic or masochistic material.
If convicted, Gozola faces a potential maximum penalty of 40 years in prison on each distribution count, with a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison. In addition, he faces a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, with a mandatory minimum penalty of ten years on the possession count. All sentences will be determined by a federal district court judge.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Minnesota Cybercrime Task Force, which includes the Minneapolis Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Calhoun-Lopez.
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, at www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. A defendant, of course, is presumed innocent until he or she pleads guilty or is proven guilty at trial.