Minnetonka Man Pleads Guilty To Distributing Child Pornography
MINNEAPOLIS—Earlier today in federal court in St. Paul, a 36-year-old Minnetonka man pleaded guilty to distributing child pornography. Jonathan Charles Otto pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of child pornography. Otto, who was indicted on July 23, 2013, entered his plea before United States District Judge Richard H. Kyle.
In his plea agreement, Otto admitted that on December 27, 2010, he distributed images and videos containing visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. In addition, Otto admitted that he possessed more than 45,000 images and more than 3,800 videos of similar material. Some of the images and videos portrayed sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence.
For his crime, Otto faces a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, with a mandatory minimum penalty of five years. Judge Kyle will determine his sentence at a future hearing, yet to be scheduled.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Minnesota Child Exploitation Task Force, sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with cooperation from the Minnetonka Police Department and the London Metropolitan Police Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Manda M. Sertich.
Distribution and possession of child pornography is against the law. In addition to prosecuting these cases, the Justice Department is funding a study focused on the correlation between involvement in child pornography and hands-on sexual abuse of children. A 2008 study (The Butner Study) published in the Journal of Family Violence found that up to 80 percent of federal inmates incarcerated for possession, receipt, or distribution of child pornography also admitted to hands-on sexual abuse of children, ranging from touching to rape.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (“PSC”), 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 U.S. Attorney offices and the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and identify and rescue victims. For more information about PSC, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/. For more information about internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/resources.html and click on the tab “resources.”