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Justice News

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

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Red Lake Man Indicted For Distributing, Possessing Child Pornography

MINNEAPOLIS—A federal indictment recently unsealed charges a 52-year-old Red Lake man with distributing and possessing images and videos containing child pornography. The indictment, which was filed on May 7, 2013, charges James Patrick Needham with one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. The indictment was unsealed prior to Needham’s initial appearance in federal court earlier today in Duluth.

The indictment alleges that on July 21, 2011, Needham possessed images and videos containing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. It also alleges that on August 4, 2010, Needham distributed several images of similar material. More than 1,300 images and 100 videos were found on a computer that was seized during the execution of a search warrant at Needham’s residence on July 21, 2011.

If convicted, Needham faces a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for distribution of child pornography, with a mandatory minimum penalty of five years, and ten years in prison for possession of child pornography. Any sentences would be determined by a federal district court judge.

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 Red Lake Tribal Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Laura M. Provinzino.

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.”

An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. A defendant, of course, is presumed innocent until he or she pleads guilty or is proven guilty at trial.



Updated April 30, 2015