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Press Release

Former Portland Resident Found Guilty of Sexually Exploiting Children While Babysitting

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

PORTLAND, Ore. – After deliberating for just 20 minutes, a federal jury returned guilty verdicts against Andrew Franklin Kowalczyk, 44, formerly of Portland, for the repeated sexual abuse and exploitation of three minor female victims.

“Andrew Kowalczyk’s actions have brought unthinkable distress and terror to the lives of his victims and their families. Our two prosecutors, each with many years’ experience handling similar cases, describe Kowalczyk’s conduct as the worst they’ve seen in their careers,” said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. “I applaud the unwavering resolve of our trial team, our partner investigators and the victim survivors who persevered against a defendant who attempted every conceivable tactic to delay justice for more than 10 years.”

“I am proud of the people on the FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force, people who work tirelessly to bring justice to victimized children and help put their abusers behind bars. This defendant will never violate our most vulnerable again, and I hope this sentencing sends a strong message to those who would sexually exploit children,” said Renn Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon.

“Heinous crimes like those committed by the defendant must come to an end,” said Brad Bench, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Seattle. “I’m very proud of the agents and law enforcement partners responsible for removing this dangerous person from our streets. Let this be a warning to others who attempt to harm our children. We will work tirelessly to ensure you are brought to justice.”

According to court documents and information shared during trial, law enforcement first learned of Kowalczyk’s abuse in early 2008. On December 27, 2007, a Des Moines, Washington police officer stopped Kowalczyk for several traffic violations. Kowalcyzk did not own the vehicle he was driving, did not have a driver’s license and gave the officer a false name. After refusing the officer’s request to step out of the vehicle, Kowalczyk fled, leading police on a high-speed chase that was later terminated for public safety reasons.

Kowalczyk was later located at the Northwest Motor Inn in Puyallup, Washington. A records check run on the alias used by Kowalczyk to book his hotel room returned an outstanding arrest warrant for failing to appear in an unlawful use of a weapon case in Washington County, Oregon. Kowalczyk was arrested early the next morning when attempting to leave the hotel in a cab. Officers seized Kowalcyzk’s personal belongings including two pieces of luggage and a backpack.

In January 2008, Des Moines police detectives sought and obtained a state warrant to search computer equipment, a digital camera and digital storage devices found in Kowalczyk’s luggage. The searched returned a tremendous amount of child pornography including a number of images and videos that appeared to be homemade. Numerous videos and images depicted an unidentified male sexually abusing two very young children. Metadata embedded in many of the digital images revealed that they were created using the same camera found in Kowalczyk’s luggage.

Puyallup Police officers later published certain non-pornographic images of the victims and an adult woman found on Kowalczyk’s devices in an attempt to identify the victims. An adult woman, later identified as the victims’ mother, saw the images and contacted Puyallup Police. She confirmed she knew Kowalczyk and that he had regular access to her daughters in Portland. After reviewing some of the images seized, the victims’ mother was able to identify locations where the images were taken.

The victims’ mother told investigators she met Kowalczyk, a friend of her deceased brother, in 2003. In 2005, after the victims’ mother and her children wound up in a domestic violence shelter, Kowalcyzk offered to pay for them to stay in a motel. Between April and the beginning of June 2005, Kowalczyk arranged for the victims’ mother and her children to stay with or adjacent to him in three different Portland motels. Kowalcyzk and the victims’ mother later rented separate apartments.

The victims’ mother frequently left her children alone in Kowalczyk’s care while she searched for work or housing. The victims’ mother believed Kowalczyk treated the victims well, buying them clothing, diapers, shoes, and even a birthday cake for their second birthday and was unaware of the abuse that transpired. The cake—with the victims’ names on it—appeared in some of the non-pornographic images found on Kowalczyk’s devices.

Investigators were later able to track down the Portland motel rooms Kowalczyk rented for the family. Kowalczyk took photos of himself sexually abusing two of the minor victims at each location. He took sexually explicit photos of the third minor victim at his apartment in Southeast Portland. In March 2008, investigators conducted a federal search warrant of a storage locker Kowalczyk rented in Woodlawn, Washington. They found a sofa, a mirror and several shirts depicted in the pornographic images found on Kowalczyk’s devices.

A federal grand jury charged Kowalczyk with a single count of sexual exploitation of children on February 2, 2008. A superseding indictment with eight additional counts of sexual exploitation of children was returned on March 21, 2012. Kowalczyk sought the replacement of counsel more than a dozen times and filed extensive motions to suppress evidence, causing a decade-long delay in bringing the case to trial.

He faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison with a 15-year mandatory minimum on each of the nine counts. Kowalczyk will be sentenced in March 2019 before U.S. District Court Judge Michael W. Mosman.

The case was investigated by the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Portland Police Bureau, and the Puyallup and Des Moines, Washington Police Departments. It was prosecuted by Scott M. Kerin and Gary Y. Sussman, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.

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 U.S. 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

Anyone who has information about the physical or online exploitation of children are encouraged to call the FBI at (503) 224-4181 or submit a tip online at

Updated December 6, 2018

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