Two Harbors Man Indicted For Producing Child Pornography
MINNEAPOLIS—A federal indictment unsealed late yesterday charges a 37-year-old Two Harbors man with producing images of child pornography. The indictment, which was filed on August 13, 2013, charges Joel Ray Allard with one count of production of child pornography. The indictment was unsealed following Allard’s initial appearance in federal court.
The indictment alleges that in August and September 2011, Allard enticed a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions of that conduct.
If convicted, Allard faces a potential maximum penalty of life in prison, with a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years. Any sentence would be determined by a federal district judge.
This case is the result of the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota Child Exploitation Task Force, sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David P. Steinkamp.
Production of child pornography is against the law. In addition to prosecuting these cases, the Justice Department is funding a study focused on the correlation between involvement in child pornography and 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.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (“PSC”), 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 U.S. Attorney offices and the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and identify and rescue victims. For more information about PSC, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/. For more information about internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/resources.html and click on the tab “resources.”
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.