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Press Release

60-Year Old Dubuque Man Who Persuaded Teenager to Send Him Nude Photos Sentenced to Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Victim was 15 at time of offense

A Dubuque man, responsible for persuading a 15-year old girl to send him nude photos and videos, was sentenced today to 15 years in federal prison.

Mark Curtis, Sr., age 60, from Dubuque, Iowa, received the prison sentence after a March 4, 2020 guilty plea to one count of sexual exploitation of a child and one count of receipt of child pornography.

Information disclosed at his plea and sentencing hearings showed that between August 2018 and October 2018, Curtis persuaded a 15-year old girl, who lived outside the state of Iowa, to send him nude photos and videos of herself.  She sent the pictures and videos via Facebook.  Some images contained the young girl engaging in sexually explicit conduct, which Curtis had asked her to engage in.  Curtis knew the girl was a minor.  At one point, the girl told Curtis that she was studying to get her learner’s permit, to which Curtis replied he wished she was older.  In total, investigators found approximately 44 files containing images sent between the girl and Curtis. 

Curtis was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Curtis was sentenced to 180 months’ imprisonment.  He was ordered to make a payment of $200 to the special assessment fund.  He must also serve a five-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ashley Corkery and investigated by the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, 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 the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit  For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab “resources.”

Court file information at

The case file number is 19-CR-1047.                            

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Updated August 25, 2020

Project Safe Childhood