Sex offender pleads guilty to possession of child pornography
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 2, 2012
MINNEAPOLIS—Today in federal court, a 28-year-old registered sex offender from Woodland Township in central Minnesota pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography. Jeremy Lee Klepperich pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography. Klepperich, who was charged by way of federal criminal complaint on July 31, 2012, entered his plea before United States District Judge Patrick J. Schiltz.
In his plea agreement, Klepperich admitted that on June 6, 2012, he possessed one or more matters containing visual depictions of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Klepperich owned a computer thumb drive containing approximately 4,270 images and 56 videos of child pornography.
In 2011, Klepperich had pleaded guilty in state court in Wright County on one count of possession of pornography by a sex offender. The sentence in that case mandated that Klepperich, whose prison term was stayed, refrain from possessing any drugs, drug paraphernalia, pornography, or other sexually explicit material. On July 6, 2012, Klepperich was arrested by local law enforcement for violating the terms of his 2011 stay of sentence. An unnamed individual informed authorities of Klepperich’s thumb drive, which contained child pornography. Klepperich’s criminal history includes a 1997 McLeod County, Minnesota, conviction for sexual penetration of the minor female he was babysitting and a 2009 conviction in Hennepin County for failure to register as a predatory offender.
For his crime, Klepperich faces a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison, with a mandatory minimum penalty of ten years. Because the federal system does not have parole, Klepperich will serve virtually his entire prison sentence behind bars. Judge Schiltz will determine his sentence at a future hearing, not yet scheduled.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Minnesota Cyber Crime Task Force, which is sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Secret Service. Assistance was provided by the Minnesota Department of Corrections, the Hutchinson Police Department, and the Wright County Sheriff’s Office, which is an affiliate of the Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura M. Provinzino.
Possession of child pornography is against the law. In addition to prosecuting these cases, the Justice Department is presently 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 the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s 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.”
A defendant, of course, is presumed innocent until he or she pleads guilty or is proven guilty at trial.
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