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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Minneapolis Sex Offender Found Guilty Of Child Pornography Offenses

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced JOHN EDWIN KUHNEL, 40, was convicted on nine counts of receipt of child pornography and two counts of possession of child pornography. KUHNEL was found guilty following a two-day bench trial before Chief Judge John R. Tunheim in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota. KUHNEL will be sentenced at a later date.

“Mr. Kuhnel, a twice convicted child predator, must now face the consequences of his actions,” said U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald. “Justice has prevailed in this case.”

As proven at trial, KUHNEL obtained and possessed child pornography images and videos while being supervised for a 2010 Hennepin County conviction for second-degree criminal sexual conduct. On November 29, 2016, following a meeting with his probation officer, KUHNEL admitted to unauthorized internet activity in violation of the terms of his supervision. Law enforcement’s forensic examination of KUHNEL’s two laptop computers revealed more than 33,000 child pornography images and videos. KUHNEL was instructed to return to the probation office the following day but, instead, KUHNEL fled the state and remained a fugitive until he was arrested in another state in 2017.

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 is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI, the Minneapolis Police Department and the Hennepin County Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Manda M. Sertich and Emily A. Polachek.

 

Defendant Information:

JOHN EDWIN KUHNEL, 40

Minneapolis, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Receipt of child pornography, 9 counts
  • Possession of child pornography, 2 counts

 

 

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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated January 7, 2020