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Press Release

Man Who Distributed Videos of the Sexual Abuse of Toddler by Her Mother Sentenced to Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Evidence Also Showed He Had an Interest in Traveling to Another Country to Have Sex with Children

A man who distributed videos of a toddler being sexually abused by her mother on social media was sentenced today to nine years in federal prison.

Douglas John Buttikofer Jr., age 41, from Dubuque, Iowa, received the prison term after a February 2, 2021 guilty plea to accessing child pornography.

At the guilty plea, Buttikofer admitted that between February and March of 2020, he knowingly accessed with intent to view visual depictions of child pornography.  The depictions involved at least one minor under the age of 12.  Buttikofer committed the offense while on pre-trial release in the State of Illinois for the unlawful grooming of a minor.  At sentencing, a witness testified that Buttikofer expressed an interest in traveling to the Philippines to engage in sex with children.   The judge noted Buttikofer maintained a “persistent pursuit” of child pornography, making him a danger to the community. 

Buttikofer was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Buttikofer was sentenced to 108 months’ imprisonment and fined $100.  He must also serve a five-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

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.”

Buttikofer is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Liz Dupuich and investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Illinois State Police, the Dubuque County Sherriff’s Office, and the Dubuque Police Department. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 20-CR-1012.

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Updated August 20, 2021

Project Safe Childhood