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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

Monday, February 10, 2014

St. Augustine Sex Offender Sentenced To 15 Years In Federal Prison For International Transportation Of Child Pornography

Jacksonville, Florida – United States District Judge Marcia Morales Howard today sentenced Charles Lee Gorish (67, St. Augustine) to 15 years in federal prison for transporting images and videos of child pornography from Florida to Canada.  He was also ordered to serve a 10-year term of supervision, following his incarceration, and to register as a sex offender. Gorish pleaded guilty on October 23, 2013. He has been in custody since his arrest in St. Augustine, on September 7, 2012. 

According to court documents, Gorish used a fake name to send a package, via FedEx from St. Augustine, to an individual in Ontario, Canada. The package was intercepted by Canadian law enforcement officers. It contained, among other things, two micro SD media cards containing more than 600 images and videos depicting child pornography, and thousands of images of child erotica.  Canadian officials notified the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office (SJCSO), the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations regarding the seizure of this package.  Further investigation revealed that Gorish is a registered sex offender.  He was convicted in Hillsborough County, Florida on February 24, 1992 of three counts of lewd and lascivious conduct on a minor child. 

On September 7, 2012, FBI agents and SJCSO personnel executed a federal search warrant at Gorish's residence in St. Augustine.  During an interview, Gorish admitted that he downloaded the files depicting the sexually explicit images of young boys on the SD cards from the Internet, over a period of years. Gorish was subsequently arrested.

This case was investigated by the Canadian Border Services Agency, Ottawa Police Services, the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.

It is another 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 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.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc.

Updated January 26, 2015