News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

Coon Rapids man indicted for receiving, possessing, attempting to distribute child pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 6, 2013


MINNEAPOLIS—A federal indictment unsealed recently charges a 54-year-old Coon Rapids man with receiving, possessing and attempting to distribute child pornography. The indictment, which was filed on May 20, 2013, charges Guy Edward Wheelock with seven counts of attempted distribution of child pornography, one count of receipt of child pornography, and one count of possession of child pornography. On June 4, 2013, the indictment was unsealed following Wheelock’s initial appearance in federal court.

The indictment alleges that on seven occasions between September 13 and 20, 2011, Wheelock attempted to distribute, via a computer, videos involving minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. It also alleges that on February 2, 2012, Wheelock received videos of similar conduct, and that he possessed several videos of similar conduct.

If convicted, Wheelock faces a potential maximum penalty of 40 years for each attempted distribution and receipt count and 20 years on the possession count. Any sentence would be determined by a federal district court judge.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Minneapolis Police Department, and the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Manda M. Sertich and Laura M. Provinzino.

Distribution, receipt and possession 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.

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