North Dakota Man Found Guilty of Several Charges Related to Child Pornography
BISMARCK - US Attorney Christopher C. Myers announced that on October 31, 2016, Calvin Bernhardt, 54, Tuttle ND, was found guilty following nearly four days of trial on charges of Attempted Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Attempted Receipt of Materials Depicting the Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Counterfeit Currency, Tampering with Witness or Evidence, and Attempted Travel with Intent to Engage in Sexual Acts with a Minor.
From approximately September 2015 to approximately March 2016, Bernhardt induced and enticed a 14-year-old minor from the Philippines to engage in and produce images of sexually explicit conduct via the internet; Bernhardt further induced the minor to send him the sexually explicit or sadistic and masochistic images. Once Bernhardt became aware of an investigation into his illegal conduct, he contacted the mother of the victim in the Philippines and instructed her to delete any images of himself and the minor on the minor’s cellphone and further instructed her to not talk to United States federal law enforcement officials in the Philippines. Communications between Bernhardt and the victim revealed that Bernhardt was attempting to arrange a meeting with the minor in a Philippines hotel with the intent of engaging in sexual acts with her.
Assistant United States Attorney Gary Delorme stated, "The United States and the District of North Dakota will not tolerate this kind of conduct and victimization of children over the internet regardless of where the victim is located. People engaging in this kind of conduct should expect to be vigorously prosecuted in this District."
This case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations in Bismarck; Homeland Security Investigations-Manila, Philippines; and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Assistant US Attorneys Gary Delorme and Jon O’Konek prosecuted the case.