Western Minnesota Man Pleads Guilty To Possessing Child Pornography
MINNEAPOLIS—Earlier today in federal court, a 62-year-old man from the western Minnesota community of Graceville pleaded guilty to possessing more than 600 images of child pornography. John Rolland Parent pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography. Parent, who was indicted on May 7, 2013, entered his plea before United States District Judge John R. Tunheim.
In his plea agreement, Parent admitted that on June 12, 2013, he possessed images that contained visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Parent admitted the images had been obtained via a computer. Authorities found the items on computers, hard drives, and other digital media that they seized during the execution of a state search warrant at Parent’s residence. Numerous images portrayed sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence.
For his crime, Parent faces a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, with a mandatory minimum penalty of ten years. Judge Tunheim will determine his sentence at a future hearing, yet to be scheduled. This case is the result of an investigation by the Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Big Stone County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Dunne.
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.”