Gervais Man Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison in Child Pornography Case
PORTLAND, Ore. – On Thursday, September 22, 2016, U.S. District Judge Michael H. Simon sentenced Adam Michael Groat, 28, of Gervais to seven years in federal prison and a life term of supervised release after Groat’s previous pleas of guilty to three counts of distributing child pornography, three counts of receiving child pornography, and one count of possession of child pornography.
Separate investigations by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) revealed that Groat repeatedly traded numerous images of child pornography with various people online. The HSI investigation revealed that Groat traded child pornography with an offender in Arizona who was the subject of another investigation. The FBI investigation revealed that Groat traded child pornography with a woman in Texas who was also the subject of another investigation. Forensic examinations of Groat’s computer equipment revealed hundreds of child pornography images and videos, including materials depicting prepubescent minors engaged in bestiality and sadomasochistic conduct.
At the sentencing hearing, Judge Simon noted that trading in child pornography has the effect of normalizing the sexual abuse of children. He recognized the continuing harm to the children depicted in the images and video, and noted that the proliferation of child pornography assures that child sexual abuse will continue. Judge Simon also stated that a civilized society must protect its most vulnerable members – its children.
Judge Simon imposed a lengthy and stringent list of conditions with which Groat must comply while on supervised release. These include limitations on contact with minors, a requirement to undergo mental health and sex offender treatment, restrictions on where Groat may work and reside, and restrictions on computer usage and access to the Internet. Groat will also be required to register as a sex offender. Groat said he was “truly sorry and regretful” for his conduct.
“Trading in images of the sexual abuse of children is criminal, despicable, and cannot be tolerated in a civil society,” said Billy J. Williams, United States Attorney for the District of Oregon. “The children shown in the images are victimized anew each time images of their abuse are uploaded, downloaded, traded, or viewed,” he added. “By actively trading in those images, Adam Groat prolonged the harm each of the victims suffered,” Williams noted. Groat’s sentence “should serve as a stern warning to anyone inclined to trade in child pornography that such actions cause serious harm and will result in serious consequences.”
The investigation was conducted by HSI and the FBI. This case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Bumjoon Park and Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary 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.