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Press Release

Abilene Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Pornography Offenses

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Texas

ABILENE, Texas — Paul Joseph Koestle, 33, of Abilene, Texas, appeared yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge E. Scott Frost in Abilene, Texas, and pleaded guilty to child pornography offenses, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

Specifically, Koestle, who remains in custody, pleaded guilty to one count of production of child pornography and one count of receipt of child pornography.  On the production conviction, he faces a statutory penalty of not less than 15 years or more than 30 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.  On the receipt conviction, he faces a statutory penalty of not less than five years or more than 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.  A sentencing date was not set.

According to documents filed in the case, earlier this year the Abilene Police Department (APD) began investigating Koestle based on information they received from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) indicating he had uploaded an image of child pornography to a Google account.  The APD executed a search warrant at his home in late April 2015.

Koestle, who was home during the execution of the warrant, admitted to downloading child pornography and producing child pornography of a minor child, “Jane Doe.”  A forensic evaluation of electronic equipment seized from his residence pursuant to the search revealed hundreds of images of child pornography located on a cellphone, a laptop computer and hard drive.  In addition, multiple images of “Jane Doe” engaging in sexually explicit conduct were found. 

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative, which was 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’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals, who sexually exploit children, and 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.”

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Abilene Police Department are investigating.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Myria Boehm is in charge of the prosecution.

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Updated August 14, 2015

Project Safe Childhood