Spokane, Washington Man Sentenced to Five Years in Federal Prison for Distribution of Child Pornography
Spokane – Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that John Marion Hatlestad, age 62, of Spokane, Washington, was sentenced after having previously plead guilty on March 9, 2016 to Distribution of Child Pornography. United States District Judge Wm. Fremming Nielson sentenced Hatlestad to a five-year term of imprisonment, to be followed by a fifteen-year term of court supervision after he is released from Federal prison. In addition, Hatlestad was ordered to forfeit to the United States his computer and other digital items that he used to store and distribute child pornography. Hatlestad will also be required to register as a sex offender.
According to information disclosed during the court proceedings, Hatlestad was using a Peer to Peer file sharing account to share and distribute child pornography images over the Internet. Undercover law enforcement agents located child pornography files Hatlestad was making available for download and later obtained a federal search warrant for Hatlestads’ residence. On March 6, 2015, Homeland Security Investigations Agents executed a federal search warrant at Hatlestads’ residence and seized Hatlestads’ computer and digital devices that he used to store and distribute child pornography. A forensic examination of Hatlestads’ personal computer revealed 5,807 child pornography images and 87 videos of child pornography.
Michael C. Ormsby stated, “I commend the Asotin County Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations for their efforts in successfully investigating this case. Prosecuting offenders who distribute child pornography is one of the top priorities of the United States Attorney’s Office for in the Eastern District of Washington. This Office, together with its law enforcement partners, is committed to prosecuting aggressively and seeking appropriate punishment for child pornography crimes.
This case was prosecuted 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.
This investigation was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations and the Asotin County Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Stephanie J. Lister, an Assistant United States Attorney and Project Safe Childhood Coordinator for the Eastern District of Washington.