News and Press Releases

Defendant Fled to Canada and was Extradited to Stand Trial

March 19, 2008

KENNETH GOUIN, 48, of Des Moines, Washington, was convicted in a bench trial late yesterday of Possession of Child Pornography. Chief U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik will sentence GOUIN on June 13, 2008. GOUIN, a registered sex offender, faces a mandatory minimum ten years in prison and up to 20 years in prison.

According to testimony and records filed in the case, GOUIN and his twin brother, Kevin Gouin, first came to the attention of Des Moines police when their sister reported her adolescent son had seen child pornography on the computer the brothers shared. When police searched the Gouin brothers’ residence they found hundreds of printed images of child pornography in file folders and notebooks as well as numerous compact disks and floppy disks containing thousands of images of child pornography. During the search KENNETH GOUIN admitted acquiring child pornography via the internet. KENNETH GOUIN, who holds Canadian citizenship, fled to Canada following the search. Kevin Gouin pleaded guilty to Possession of Child Pornography and was sentenced on June 16, 2006, to 37 months in prison.

In October 2007, KENNETH GOUIN was extradited from Canada. GOUIN made his initial appearance on the indictment on October 4, 2007. Over a two day bench trial, the defense attorney claimed that there was insufficient proof that the images of child pornography had traveled in interstate commerce. Such proof is necessary to meet federal criminal jurisdiction. Assistant United States Attorney Susan B. Dohrmann presented law enforcement witnesses from Texas, Missouri, Illinois, North Carolina, Idaho and Pennsylvania who testified that they had met the victim children depicted in the images in their home states, and knew that the locations where the images were produced were also in those states. Therefore the images must have traveled in interstate commerce to have been seized in GOUIN’s residence in Washington state.

This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the U.S. Department of Justice launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information click Project Safe Childhood on the right side of the screen.

The case was investigated by the Des Moines Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Susan B. Dohrmann.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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