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Portland Resident Sentenced to Five Years in Prison in Child Pornography Case

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 28, 2012

PORTLAND, Ore. - John M. Milano, 58, of Portland, Oregon, was sentenced this morning by United States District Judge Robert E. Jones to five years in prison for transportation of child pornography.  Milano will also be required to serve five years on supervised release following his term of imprisonment, and must register as a sex offender.  Milano waived indictment by a grand jury in January 2012 and pled guilty to an Information charging him with transporting child pornography from the State of Oregon to the State of Washington in April 2011.  The offense carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, and up to twenty years in prison.

According to court documents, Milano admitted downloading images of child pornography and saving them on an external hard drive to conceal his behavior from his wife.  Milano acknowledged taking the hard drive on a business trip to Spokane, and inadvertently leaving the hard drive in his hotel room.  The next guest in the room viewed the images and reported it to the hotel, which in turn called police.  Law enforcement confirmed that the hard drive contained videos and other images of children being sexually abused.  They were able to trace the device to Milano through personal records on the hard drive, in addition to hotel records.  Law enforcement then executed a search warrant at Milano’s residence in Portland, and seized additional computers containing child pornography.  Milano confessed on the scene, and later thanked agents for “rescuing” him from the “dark place” he had been in while collecting and viewing images of children being sexually abused.

In sentencing Milano to five years in prison, Judge Jones noted that Milano has led an honorable life with the exception of this horrible offense.  However, in addressing the harm caused by the offense, Judge Jones admonished Milano that the victim children depicted in the images Milano possessed “have had to be on suicide watch, [and] suffered depression.”  He added, “[A]nd you were involved, in the sense that every time you looked at them, there’s this continuous damage, insult to those victims.”  Courts, including the Ninth Circuit, have recognized that child pornography offenses are not victimless crimes, and that they fuel the demand for production and distribution of images of child sex abuse.  The prosecutor also argued that victim impact statements demonstrated how the victims’ lives have been ruined not only by the sex abuse they suffered, but almost more from the knowledge that pictures and videos of the abuse are being traded and viewed around the world, and there will never be an end to it.

"This tragic crime highlights that those who victimize and exploit children may not present like the predators they are,” said U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall.  “These offenses are insidious, and when exposed, are often met with shock, and even disbelief, that the offender could be capable of such horrific conduct.  Not only is possessing and transporting these images devastating to the children depicted, but studies show there is a correlation between viewing such images and committing an act of child sexual abuse.  My office will continue to charge these crimes and pursue sentences that ensure all of those who abuse or exploit children are punished to the fullest extent of the law."

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice and led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

The case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jane Shoemaker, Chief of the Violent Crimes Unit for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oregon.

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