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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Recidivist Child Sex Offender Sentenced to Life in Prison for Child Pornography-Related Offenses

A Minnesota man with two prior convictions for sexually abusing children was sentenced today to serve life plus 10 years in prison for production, distribution, receipt and possession of child pornography, as well as committing a child sex offense while being required to register as a sex offender, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger of the District of Minnesota. 

Rex Lee Furman, 52, of Federal Dam, Minnesota, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge David S. Doty of the District of Minnesota, who also ordered Furman to pay restitution in the amount of $3,000 to two victims.  Furman was convicted on Oct. 21, 2015, following a three-day jury trial.

According to the evidence presented at trial, in 2013, during separate investigations by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) and the Minneapolis Police Department, law enforcement officers obtained child pornography videos from an internet protocol (IP) address linked to Furman’s home.  The evidence showed that during a search of his residence that was executed with the assistance of the Cass County Sheriff’s Office on Feb.13, 2014, Furman admitted that he had downloaded child pornography.  According to the trial evidence, he also informed a special agent that he had produced images depicting child exploitation involving two girls who had been in his care, both of whom were younger than six years old at the time of the abuse.  The trial evidence showed that subsequent forensic analysis of Furman’s computers and digital media confirmed that he produced pornographic photographs and a video of those children in 2012.  According to the trial evidence, investigators also found in Furman’s possession hundreds of images and videos that depicted other children engaged in sex acts with adults.

Furman has two prior Minnesota state court convictions for engaging in sex acts with minors.  In December 1981, Furman pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a five-year-old girl who was in his care.  In January 1999, Furman was convicted after a bench trial of sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl in his care.  As a result, he was required to register as a sex offender until 2021.

The Minnesota BCA, which leads the Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and the Minneapolis Police Department, which is a member of the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force, investigated the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Melinda A. Williams of the District of Minnesota and Deputy Chief Alexandra R. Gelber of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) prosecuted the case.

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.  Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and 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.justice.gov/psc.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 
16-843
Updated July 20, 2016