News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

Man Allegedly Victimized Young Girl While She Visited in His Home

May 26, 2011

JOSEPH SCHESSO, 33, of Portland, Oregon, was indicted late yesterday by a federal grand jury for production of child pornography, distribution of child pornography, receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography. SCHESSO previously resided in Vancouver, Washington, and it is during that time period that the alleged crimes occurred. If convicted, SCHESSO faces a mandatory minimum 15 years in prison and up to 30 years in prison. SCHESSO has been summoned to appear for arraignment in U.S. District Court in Tacoma on June 3, 2011.

According to records filed in the case, SCHESSO first came to the attention of authorities when investigators in Germany discovered an individual in the U.S. distributing child pornography through a file-sharing program. The information was passed from German law enforcement to investigators with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), who traced the computer’s internet protocol address to SCHESSO’s residence. In June 2010, agents executed a search warrant on SCHESSO’s Vancouver home. Investigators allegedly found more than 3,100 images and 500 movie files of child pornography on SCHESSO’s computers. They also located a media card for a digital camera. Forensic examination of the media card revealed photos of a child in sexually explicit poses. Further examination revealed furniture and blankets in the photos were at SCHESSO’s home. The child was later identified as someone who had visited SCHESSO’s home.

SCHESSO was arrested and charged by complaint in November 2010. He was released from custody on various conditions including no contact with minors and no access to computers.

The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

If convicted, SCHESSO faces a mandatory minimum 15 years in prison and up to 30 years in prison for production of child pornography. Receipt of child pornography and distribution of child pornography are both punishable by a mandatory minimum 5 years in prison and up to 20 years in prison. Possession of child pornography is punishable by up to ten years in prison. If convicted SCHESSO will also have to register as a sex offender and could face up to lifetime supervised release.

The case was investigated by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations. The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Marci Ellsworth and Assistant United States Attorney Aravind Swaminathan. Ms. Ellsworth is an attorney with ICE specially designated to prosecute cases in federal court.


USAO Homepage
USAO Briefing Room
Justice 101
Community Outreach

Engaging in outreach in order to prevent crime, respond to community needs, and promote good citizenship.

Victim Witness Assistance

Making sure that victims of federal crimes are treated with compassion, fairness and respect

Project Safe Neighborhoods

Our nation-wide commitment to reducing gun crime in America

Oficinas de los Fiscales de Estados Unidos En Español
Stay Connected with Twitter