News and Press Releases

MARTIN COUNTY MAN INDICTED FOR DISTRIBUTION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY AND ENTICEMENT OF MINORS OVER THE INTERNET

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 8, 2010

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Robert L. Crowder, Sheriff, Martin County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), announced the indictment of Joseph W. Kohler, 38, of Stuart, Florida. Kohler has been detained pending trial as a risk of flight and danger to the community.

More specifically, the three-count indictment charges Kohler with enticement of a minor, distribution, and receipt of child pornography, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 2422(b), 2252(a)(2), 2252(a)(2), respectively. If convicted of the enticement charge, Kohler faces a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years. If convicted of the distribution and receipt of child pornography charges, Kohler faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison. In addition, Kohler must register as a sex offender.

According to the criminal complaint, on September 1, 2010, a MCSO Detective was conducting an Internet investigation on possible child pornography via Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks. During the investigation, the Detective connected via P2P with a computer, the IP address of which belonged to defendant Kohler, at an address in Stuart, Florida. Thereafter, on September 14, 2010, a state search warrant was executed at Kohler’s Stuart residence. The computer was seized and its contents were analyzed, resulting at least forty (40) video files depicting child pornography. The P2P software was in the sharing mode, which enabled any online user to download from the shared files on Kohler’s computer.

According to the complaint, Kohler used an outgoing video of a teenage female in web camera chat sessions to persuade minor females to expose themselves to him using their web cameras. At Kohler’s October 4 detention hearing, a detective testified that he found five web camera chat sessions between Kohler and minor females, including an 11 and 16 year old.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the Martin County Sheriff’s Office for their work on this case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carmen Lineberger.

An indictment is only an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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