News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

Federal jury convicts Winona man for sending and possessing child pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 22, 2011


MINNEAPOLIS – Earlier today in federal court, a jury found a 57-year-old Winona man
guilty of sending and possessing child pornography. Following a two-day trial, Dennis Gale
Chase was convicted on three counts of transportation of child pornography and three counts of
possession of child pornography. Chase was indicted on May 2, 2011.

According to the indictment and evidence presented at trial, Chase transported via a
computer on March 28, March 29, and April 28, 2011, visual depictions of minors engaged in
sexually explicit conduct. In addition, Chase possessed both images and videos containing
similar conduct on September 9, 2009, February 17, 2010, and May 4, 2011. The depictions were
downloaded and stored on Chase’s computer, while additional depictions were stored on external
hard drives and on thumb drives.

For his crimes, Chase faces a potential maximum penalty of 40 years in prison on each
transportation count, with a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years, and a potential maximum
penalty of 20 years on each possession count, with a mandatory minimum penalty of ten years.
United States District Court Judge John R. Tunheim will determine his sentence at a future
hearing.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with
assistance from the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office
(Florida), the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Minnesota Bureau of
Criminal Apprehension and the Winona Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant
U.S. Attorneys Kimberly A. Svendsen and Laura M. Provinzino.

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.

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