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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 19, 2019

WISCONSIN MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO PRODUCING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES

WASHINGTON – A Wisconsin man pleaded guilty today to producing and possessing child pornography in 2015 and engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place between 2014 and 2015, announced Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Matthew D. Krueger of the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Jeffrey H. Ernisse, 61, pleaded guilty to two counts of producing child pornography, one count of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor in the Philippines, and one count of possessing child pornography before U.S. District Court Judge Lynn S. Adelman.  Sentencing is set for July 11, 2019.

According to admissions made in connection with his guilty plea, while law enforcement was investigating Ernisse for production of child pornography in Wisconsin, they discovered evidence of additional child pornography production from the Philippines on Ernisse’s digital devices.  While traveling in the Philippines, in March 2015 and then again, in April 2015, Ernisse produced child pornography with a prepubescent minor.  Between June 2014 and April 2015, he engaged in illicit sexual conduct with a minor in the Philippines.  And in December 2015, Ernisse possessed child pornography in the Eastern District of Wisconsin.          

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is investigating this case with the cooperation of the Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Police Department.  Trial Attorney William M. Grady of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan J. Paulson of the Eastern District of Wisconsin are prosecuting the case.

This investigation is a part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.  Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and 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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Updated March 19, 2019