News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

Milaca man indicted for distributing child pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 15, 2011


MINNEAPOLIS—A federal indictment unsealed yesterday charges a 50-year-old Milaca man with distributing images and videos containing child pornography. Kenneth John Gastecki was charged with one count of distribution of child pornography. The indictment, which was filed on November 8, 2011, was unsealed following Gastecki’s arraignment in federal court.

The indictment alleges that on July 29, 2009, Gastecki distributed images and videos that contained visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. During the execution of a search warrant at Gastecki’s residence, authorities seized more than 15,000 images of child pornography.

If convicted, Gastecki faces a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, with a mandatory minimum penalty of five years. All sentences will be determined by a federal district court judge. This case is the result of an investigation by the Minnesota Cyber Crimes Task Force, which is sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Secret Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Clifford B. Wardlaw.

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.

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