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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 22, 2016

Rockwall, Texas, Man Sentenced to 50 Years in Federal Prison for Producing, Transporting and Possessing Child Pornography

DALLAS — Christian C. Winchel, 49, of Rockwall, Texas, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater to serve a total of 50 years in federal prison, and pay more than $1.4 million in restitution, following his guilty plea to multiple child pornography offenses involving prepubescent child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.  

Winchel has been in custody since his arrest on a related federal criminal complaint in early February 2015.  He pleaded guilty in September 2015 to one count of production of child pornography, one count of transporting and shipping child pornography, and one count of possession of prepubescent child pornography

According to the factual resume filed in the case, Winchel began downloading child pornography in approximately 1994.  He admitted that he thought he would be able to trade child pornography with others if he produced his own material.  Winchel had access to an 18-month-old child, and he took sexually explicit photos of himself with the child.  He also admitted using a spy cam to capture minor girls using the bathroom when they were in his home and a nanny cam to capture minor girls in various stages of undress in his home. 

Winchel moved to Rockwall from Indiana in 2013, transporting the videos he had recorded of minor girls from Indiana to Texas.  He admitted that when children visited for sleepovers at his home in Rockwall, he filmed himself engaging in sexually explicit activity while in proximity of the minor children who were asleep.

Law enforcement executed a search warrant at Winchel’s residence in February 2015 and seized several media items.  An IT specialist, Winchel had used his computer skills to try to mask his computer from law enforcement. 

The forensic analysis, however, revealed that Winchel’s collection of child pornography, which he had categorized and organized, was approximately two terabytes in size.  Law enforcement further determined that some of the images and a video Winchel had involving an eight-year-old minor victim were produced in late July 2014.  Law enforcement found evidence that Winchel produced child pornography and images and videos of five minor victims. 

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Project Safe Childhood (PSC) initiative.  PSC is a department initiative launched in May 2006 to combat the proliferation of technology-facilitated sexual exploitation crimes against children.  Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, tribal and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.  Since FY 2011, the Department of Justice has filed 20,260 PSC cases against 19,111 defendants.  These cases include prosecutions of child sex trafficking; sexual abuse of a minor or ward; child pornography offenses; obscene visual representation of the sexual abuse of children; selling or buying of children; and many more statutes.  To learn more about PSC’s work, please visit: https://www.justice.gov/psc.

The FBI’s Dallas Child Exploitation Task Force conducted the investigationAssistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks prosecuted the case.

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Topic: 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated July 22, 2016