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Press Release

Raleigh Man Sentenced to 7 Years on Child Pornography Charge After Video Chats with Prepubescent Minors

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

RALEIGH, N.C. – Michael Andrew Gilson, of Raleigh, was sentenced today to 84 months in prison for receipt of child pornography.  Gilson, 43, pled guilty to the charges. on August 22, 2023.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, on August 9, 2020, the Raleigh Police Department received a call from a woman who reported she had found images of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) on a friend’s iPad.   She met with officers and explained that she had been staying the night at the home of defendant Michael Gilson when he lent her his iPad because she couldn’t sleep.  While using it, a notification popped up and she discovered images of nude children saved to the device.  In the images, Gilson appeared to be video chatting with young girls.  She confronted Gilson, and he responded that he was seeking therapy for sexual addiction to juveniles and that he was helping the girls with their “sexual awakening.” 

Officers obtained a search warrant for the iPad and for Gilson’s Apple iCloud storage account.  A forensic examination of the iPad and iCloud account revealed 61 still images and 26 videos flagged as child sexual abuse material.    Many of the minors were prepubescent.  All images and videos were recorded from video chats with minors on an anonymous video chat program that Gilson admitted to using.  A text chat box is visible in the videos, and in some, Gilson could be seen instructing minors as young as 8 years old to engage in sexual activity.  Several files depicted Gilson masturbating while young girls watched. 

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle. The Raleigh Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Jake D. Pugh prosecuted.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:21-cr-0221-BO.


Updated February 22, 2024

Project Safe Childhood