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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Washington

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Bremerton, Washington Man Sentenced to Twenty-Seven Years for Production of Child Pornography

Spokane– Today, Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Larry Gutierrez, age 50, of Bremerton, Washington, after having pled guilty on March 14, 2016 to production of child pornography, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Salvador Mendoza, Jr. Judge Mendoza sentenced Gutierrez to a twenty-seven year term of imprisonment and a life term of court supervised upon release from federal prison.

According to information disclosed during the court proceedings, on September 23, 2014 the mother of a 9 year-old girl in Spokane, Washington reported that she (the mother) found child pornography on her child’s phone, including photos of her 9 year old. Law enforcement officers interviewed the child, who explained that she met a person on the communication application Kik Messenger. The child explained that she sent the person nude images of herself, as per his request. Subsequent search warrants revealed the person the child was speaking to was Larry Gutierrez.

In a chat between Gutierrez and the child, she tells Gutierrez she is in fourth grade and when she will turn ten years old. During the chat, Gutierrez sends the victim-child several images of a younger athletic male, claiming the photos are of him; they were not. Gutierrez made specific requests that the child send pornographic videos showing her genitalia. A few days later, Gutierrez wrote if she did not send more images, he would post the child’s pictures and Kik Messenger name so other adult men could contact her.

Search warrants were executed on Gutierrez’s electronic devices. Similar images were found of more than forty other children. Gutierrez looked for the children on Kik Messenger and targeted young females. Gutierrez routinely purported to be the young athletic male, would flatter the children, and would ask for photos. He often had his victims hold a sign indicating their minor age.

Gutierrez also extorted other children, threatening them if they did not send the additional photos he was asking for. One child is seen in a photo holding a sign indicating her young age and then in another photo with sign which reads, “Stop blackmailing me.” Gutierrez threatened several children that he

would post photos he had already received of them if they did not send what he was asking for. Gutierrez did, in fact, distribute some of the photos he produced using children he had met on Kik Messenger.

At sentencing Gutierrez told the Court he would like to apologize to the victims and their families and let the Court know he would use his time in prison productively. The Court found Gutierrez’s case to be among the most serious the Court deals with. The Court indicated, though Gutierrez did not have physical contact with his victims, his actions would nonetheless have lasting, lifelong, effects on them.

United States Attorney Michael Ormsby said, “Gutierrez used social media to target and sexually exploit vulnerable children, some of whom were still in elementary school. Unfortunately, this type of crime is a growing threat in the Eastern District of Washington and elsewhere. While law enforcement is doing everything it can to stop these predators, it is of the utmost importance parents be vigilant. Any child with access to the internet is vulnerable to these criminals.”

“Sextortion” is a serious crime that occurs when someone threatens to distribute your private and sensitive material if you don’t provide them images of a sexual nature, sexual favors, or money. The perpetrator may also threaten to harm your friends or relatives by using information they have obtained from your electronic devices unless you comply with their demands. Sextortion can have devastating effects on young victims from all walks of life, and it is easy to become a victim.

Online perpetrators might gain a person’s trust by pretending to be someone they are not. They lurk in chat rooms and record young people who post or live-stream sexually explicit images and videos of themselves, or they may hack into a person’s electronic devices using malware to gain access to files and control the person’s web camera and microphone without she/he knowing it.

Here are some things individuals can do to avoid becoming a sextortion victim:

• Never send compromising images of yourself to anyone, no matter who they are—or who they say they are.

• Do not open attachments from people you do not know.

• Turn off your electronic devices and web cameras when you are not using them.

If you believe you are a victim of sextortion, or know someone else who is, call your local FBI office or toll-free at 1-800-CALL-FBI. Additional information about sextortion can be found online at:

FBI: https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2015/july/sextortion/video/what-is-sextortion

DOJ: https://www.justice.gov/psc/videos

https://www.justice.gov/psc/video/sextortion-public-service-announcement-60-seconds

https://www.justice.gov/psc/national-strategy-child-exploitation-prevention-and-interdiction

This case was pursued as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the United States Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. The Project Safe Childhood Initiative (“PSC”) has five major components:

· Integrated federal, state, and local efforts to investigate and prosecute child exploitation

cases, and to identify and rescue children;

· Participation of PSC partners in coordinated national initiatives;

· Increased federal enforcement in child pornography and enticement cases;

· Training of federal, state, and local law enforcement agents; and

· Community awareness and educational programs.

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This case was prosecuted by Alison L. Gregoire, an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.

15-CR-00131-SMJ
Updated August 24, 2016