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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Oregon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Forest Grove Man Convicted of Foreign Sex Tourism and Child Pornography Charges Following Jury Trial

PORTLAND, Ore. – Billy J. Williams, United States Attorney for the District of Oregon, announced that a federal jury in Portland found Steven Douglas Rockett, 47, of Forest Grove, guilty of producing child pornography outside of the United States, engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country, five counts of producing or attempting to produce child pornography, and possession of child pornography.  U. S. District Judge Michael H. Simon presided over the seven day trial, which concluded on May 24, 2016.  It is the first foreign sex tourism trial held in Oregon.  A sentencing hearing is scheduled for August 30, 2016.

The evidence presented at trial established that Rockett traveled to the Philippines, where he sexually abused Filipino children, and produced or attempted to produce child pornography depicting them.  The evidence also established that Rockett solicited children (either directly or through a parent) both in the Philippines and in Oregon, to take and send him sexually explicit images of themselves.  In addition, Rockett surreptitiously recorded children undressing and showering at his residence in Forest Grove, at a former residence in Aloha, and in hotel rooms in the Philippines.

The investigation was a collaborative effort on the part of the Forest Grove Police Department, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Investigators executed search warrants at Rockett’s residence, and seized computer equipment and digital data storage devices.  Investigators found a pin-hole camera hidden in a wall in a guest bathroom, which Rockett used to record images of naked children.  Another spy camera, hidden inside a clock radio, contained surreptitious video recordings of naked Filipino children in the bathroom and shower of Rockett’s hotel room.  Rockett appeared in some of the videos.

FBI Special Agents traveled to Cebu City, Philippines, where they identified and interviewed some of the victims depicted in the videos, and some of the children who Rockett solicited to send him sexually explicit images.  The jury heard testimony from seven victims who were sexually abused or exploited by Rockett in Oregon and overseas.  The jury deliberated several hours before reaching their verdict.

“This verdict is a testament to the dedication and hard work of federal, state, and local authorities who diligently followed the evidence in this case,” Williams said.  “It is a shining example of interagency cooperation in the hard fight to keep children safe here in Oregon and outside the United States.  It is vindication for the courageous child victims who spoke out against their abuser.”  Williams added, “This verdict serves notice to all sexual predators that we will pursue you wherever you commit your crimes and wherever you hide – whether on the internet, in the shadows of our community, or abroad.”

The investigation was hindered by Rockett’s use of computer encryption and disc-wiping software.  As a result, investigators cannot be certain that they have identified all of Rockett’s child victims.

This case was investigated by the Forest Grove Police Department, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the Northwest Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory, the Washington County District Attorney’s Office, and the FBI, and was prosecuted in federal court by Assistant United States Attorneys Paul T. Maloney and Gary Y. Sussman, Project Safe Childhood Coordinator for the District of Oregon.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Launched in May 2006 by the U.S. Department of Justice and led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Topic: 
Human Trafficking
Project Safe Childhood
Updated May 25, 2016