News and Press Releases

MARTIN COUNTY MAN SENTENCED TO TWENTY YEARS FOR ENTICEMENT OF MINORS OVER THE INTERNET AND DISTRIBUTION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 17, 2011

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Robert L. Crowder, Sheriff, Martin County Sheriff's Office (MCSO), announced yesterday’s sentencing of Joseph W. Kohler, 38, on child enticement and pornography charges. Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez sentenced Kohler to 20 years’ imprisonment (to run concurrent) on each of the charges of enticement of a minor and distribution of child pornography, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 2422(b) and 2252(a)(2), respectively. In addition, Kohler was sentenced to a life-time of supervised release and is required to register as a sex offender.

According to court documents, on September 1, 2010, an 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. Kohler’s computer was seized and its contents were analyzed, revealing 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 court documents, 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.

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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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