Cottage Grove Woman Indicted For Producing Pornographic Photos Of A Child
United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger today announced a federal indictment charging ROXANNE MERRELL, 35, of Cottage Grove, Minn., with producing pornographic images of a child. MERRELL is charged with two counts of Production of Child Pornography. The defendant appeared in United States District Court in Minneapolis, Minn., earlier today.
According to the indictment and documents filed in court, MERRELL was offered $100,000 to take photos depicting a minor “below the waist” and nude, which she took while the child was sleeping. The photographs were discovered in North Dakota on the computer of a known sex- offender. MERRELL’S hands appeared in at least one such photograph, and she was identified as the producer and sender of the images.
“HSI is committed to aggressively pursuing those individuals suspected of trading in child pornography,” said HSI St. Paul Special Agent in Charge J. Michael Netherland. "It is our job to do everything that we can to protect the most vulnerable members of our society.”
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 United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s 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 http://www.projectsafechildhood.gov
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Cottage Grove Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Katharine T. Buzicky is prosecuting the case.
ROXANNE MERRELL, 35
Cottage Grove, Minn.
• Production of Child Pornography, 2 counts
The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.