News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

Man indicted for producing child pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 11, 2013


MINNEAPOLIS—Recently in federal court, a 26-year-old man, formerly of St. Paul, was indicted for producing, distributing and possessing child pornography. On April 9, 2013, Douglas Luke Robinette was charged with four counts of production of child pornography, two counts of distribution of child pornography, and one count of possession of child pornography.

The indictment alleges that on three occasions in 2010, Robinette induced a 14-year-old boy to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions of that activity on his cell phone. It also alleges that between July 1 and August 30, 2010, Robinette enticed that same victim to engage in similar conduct for the purpose of producing a video of that activity. In addition, the indictment alleges that on July 12 and July 18, 2010, Robinette distributed child pornography via a computer and on August 30, 2010, possessed child pornography on his computer.

If convicted, Robinette faces a potential maximum penalty of life in prison on each production count, 40 years on each distribution count, and 20 years on the possession count. All sentences would be determined by a federal district court judge.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Rice County Sheriff’s Office, the Minnesota Bureau of Apprehension, and the Minnesota Child Exploitation Task Force, which is sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lola Velazquez-Aguilu.

Production, 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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