News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

Western Minnesota man indicted for distributing and possessing child pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2013


MINNEAPOLIS—A federal indictment unsealed yesterday charges a 62-year-old man from the western Minnesota community of Graceville with distributing and possessing images of child pornography. The indictment, which was filed on May 7, 2013, charges John Rolland Parent with five counts of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. The indictment was unsealed following Parent’s initial appearance in federal court.

The indictment alleges that between March 15, 2011, and September 25, 2011, Parent distributed via a computer visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. It also alleges that on June 12, 2012, Parent possessed more than 800 images and videos of similar conduct. Authorities found the items on computers, hard drives, and other digital media that they seized during the execution of a state search warrant at Parent’s residence.

If convicted, Parent faces a potential maximum penalty of 40 years in prison on each distribution count, and 20 years on the possession charge. 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 Big Stone County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Andrew Dunne.

Distribution, 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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