News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

Minneapolis man sentenced for distributing child pornography

May 8, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS – Earlier today in federal court, a 55-year-old Minneapolis man was
sentenced for distributing child pornography. United States District Court Judge John R.
Tunheim sentenced Robert Joseph Olson to 72 months in prison, along with ten years of
supervised release on one count of transportation of child pornography. Olson was indicted on
February 15, 2011, and pleaded guilty on October 18, 2011.

In his plea agreement, Olson admitted that on May 17, 2009, he distributed via his computer
a visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct. In addition, Olson admitted
he possessed approximately 1,400 similar images, some of which portrayed sadistic or
masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence.

This case was the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-
Homeland Security Investigations. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly A.

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,

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