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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 25, 2022

Cottage Grove Man Sentenced to Over 33 Years in Prison and Lifetime Supervised Release for Producing Child Pornography Online

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A Cottage Grove man was sentenced to 400 months in prison and a lifetime of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $132,000 to funds supporting victims, for the production, attempted production, and possession of child pornography. Acting U.S. Attorney Charles Kovats made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson sentenced the defendant.

According to court documents, between June 2019 through February 2021, Peter James Monson, 38, engaged in “catfishing” by taking on false personas to communicate with children on the internet, including via Snapchat. Monson made a fake Snapchat profile of a 16-year-old girl named “Brianna” and asked minor girls to create sexually explicit photos and videos of themselves to send to Monson so they could be rated by others as “princesses.” In order to participate as a “princess,” Monson used “Brianna’s” profile to instruct the girls to follow certain rules, including creating and sending images and videos of the girls nude or engaging in sex acts, including bestiality and incest.

In addition, according to court documents, in April 2020, Monson used his iPhone to make a secret recording of an eight-year-old while the child was getting dressed.

Monson pleaded guilty on October 5, 2021, to two counts of production and attempted production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

This case was brought as 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 the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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.projectsafechildhood.gov.

If you know of any child who may have been a victim of exploitation, please call the National Center for Missing or Exploited Children (NCMEC) at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) or visit NCMEC’s web site at www.missingkids.com.

This case was the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI Minneapolis Field Office, the FBI Philadelphia Field Office, the Cottage Grove Police Department, and the Pennsylvania State Police.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Miranda E. Dugi.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated February 25, 2022