Gregory J. Haanstad, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that on June 2, 2023, a criminal complaint was issued charging Cory J. Herthel (age: 40) of Green Bay, Wisconsin, with attempted production of child pornography and the transfer of obscene material to a Venezuelan child in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 2251(a) and 1470.
The attempted production of child pornography charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and up to 30 years of incarceration in federal prison upon conviction. The transfer of obscene materials charge carries up to ten years’ imprisonment. A conviction on either charge would require Herthel to register as a sexual offender.
According to the criminal complaint, Herthel met the child while performing missionary work and thereafter maintained contact with the child online. Herthel encouraged the minor to send him videos of the child’s genitalia in exchange for monetary payments. He is further alleged to have sent the child images of his genitals.
This case is being investigated by the Green Bay and Milwaukee offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with the assistance of the Green Bay Police Department. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel R. Humble.
A criminal complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
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