Spokane–Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Sean Michael Challe, age 29, of Kennewick, Washington, was sentenced today for three counts of Production of Child Pornography. United States District Court Judge Salvador Mendoza, Jr. sentenced Sean Michael Challe to a thirty year term of imprisonment, to be followed by a lifetime of court supervision after he is released from federal prison. Challe will also be required to register as a sex offender.
According to information disclosed during the court proceedings, on September 20, 2014, in Richland, Washington, Challe was socializing with friends on a balcony when he went into their home, where their four year old daughter was sleeping. The father of the minor entered the home to find Challe standing over the minor whose pajamas were pulled town to expose her naked body. Law enforcement was called at that time.
Officers executed search warrants for Challe’s digital devices. Challe’s cellular phone contained photos and videos of the sleeping minor he had taken on September 20, 2014, which constituted child pornography. Challe also maintained photos and video of him molesting and performing oral sodomy on the same minor in June of 2014.
Also found on Challe’s devices were videos of him molesting a two year old male and an approximately nine month old female. Challe was also found to have recorded young boys urinating in two different public restrooms. Additionally, Challe possessed over 20,000 images of other child pornography, and he was found to have been actively trading child pornography via the internet.
Michael C. Ormsby stated, “Prosecuting those who would produce pornographic images of vulnerable minors is a priority of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington. Mr. Challe is a dangerous individual who preyed on very young, and thus, very vulnerable children.” He further stated, “This joint federal, state and local agency investigation demonstrates the dedication of the officers and the willingness to utilize resources at every level of law enforcement to bring those who would victimize children to justice.”
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. 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."
This investigation was conducted by the Richland Police Department with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Laurel Holland, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for Benton County and Alison L. Gregoire, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.