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Press Release


For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Michigan

DETROIT — David Eric Yellen, 59, of Royal Oak, Michigan pleaded guilty in federal district court to distribution of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Dawn N. Ison. 

Ison was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Cheyvoryea Gibson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Detroit Division.

Yellen’s involvement with child pornography came to light after the FBI discovered that he was distributing images of child pornography over the internet, using peer-to-peer file-sharing software. The FBI determined that Yellen had worked as a photographer and videographer at multiple youth female gymnastics events in the past several years. When the FBI searched Yellen’s house, they found that Yellen possessed hundreds of files of child pornography on his electronic devices, and that Yellen had taken at least 200 photographs of the bare feet of the children who attended the gyms and gymnastic events where Yellen worked.

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Yellen will face a sentence of between five and 20 years in prison, to be followed by a term of supervised release of at least five years and up to life. Yellen entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Court Chief Judge Sean F. Cox.

“Yellen’s child pornography conduct was aggravated because of his position of trust in the gymnastics community with youth gymnasts and their parents,” stated U.S. Attorney Ison. “My office will continue to make the prosecution of child pornography crimes a top priority in order to keep our community and our children safe.”

 "Yellen, a well-known figure in the Michigan gymnastic community, was found to be distributing child sex abuse material and to have other questionable photos on his devices directly involving some of the gymnasts he worked alongside," said Cheyvoryea Gibson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. "Adults who work with and around our children are entrusted with the highest level of trust, and Yellen's conduct demonstrated his disregard for their protection. The FBI will continue to dedicate our resources to removing these individuals who lurk in the shadows and bringing them to justice."

This investigation was conducted by the FBI.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Christopher Rawsthorne, Ann Nee, and Sarah Alsaden.

Updated May 23, 2024

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