U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that MICHAEL CHAUVIN, age 31, of Houma, pled guilty today to a one-count Indictment, charging him with possession of images and videos depicting the sexual exploitation of children under the age of twelve.
According to court documents, law enforcement officials executed a search warrant at CHAUVIN’S residence on August 7, 2015, during which time they seized numerous electronic items, including one laptop computer, one cellular “smart” phone, four external hard drives, and two external “thumb” drives that contained images and videos of child pornography. A forensic examination of the devices revealed that CHAUVIN used the devices to search for, download, and save images and videos of children as young as approximately two years old engaging in sexually explicit conduct. CHAUVIN obtained most, if not all, of the images and videos via a peer-to-peer file sharing program. The forensic examination located approximately 1,354 images and 779 videos of prepubescent children engaging in sexually explicit on CHAUVIN’S electronic devices.
CHAUVIN faces a maximum term of imprisonment of twenty years, followed by up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. He can also be required to register as a sex offender. U.S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt set sentencing for April 12, 2017.
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 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.
U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorney Jordan Ginsberg and Special Assistant United States Attorney J. Ryan McLaren are in charge of the prosecution.