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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of California

Friday, December 15, 2017

Former Substitute Teacher and Private Tutor Sentenced to more than 16 years in Prison for Child Pornography Offenses

Assistant U. S. Attorneys Alessandra P. Serano (619) 546-8104 or Connie V. Wu (619) 546-8592


NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – December 15, 2017


SAN DIEGO –Marlin Lee Gougher was sentenced today to 200 months in prison and 20 years of supervised release for distributing, receiving and possessing child pornography.  Gougher, a former substitute teacher in the Temecula School District and private tutor, was convicted after a jury trial in September 2017.  


At trial, Gougher was found to have possessed two laptop computers with over 300 videos of child pornography, some of which depicted children as young as four years of age.  The FBI executed the search warrant on his Oceanside apartment in January 2013 where they located names of children Gougher had privately tutored over several years. To date, no one has come forward claiming any sexual misconduct by Gougher.


In imposing the 200 month sentence, United States District Court Judge William Q. Hayes commented that the images were “the worst I’ve ever seen.” Judge Hayes noted that the “horrific and heart-breaking nature” of the child pornography videos. Some videos depicted children under the age of five being raped by adult males. Judge Hayes said that the victims of child pornography suffer “psychological damage that can’t be undone. They don’t get a determinate sentence.” 


U.S. Attorney Adam L. Braverman said, “All child exploitation cases are heinous, but the actions of this defendant, whose profession afforded him special access to young students, are particularly appalling. We will use the full resources of the Department of Justice to seek the longest sentences possible for those who victimize children.”


“Each video and each image that Mr. Gougher possessed represented the victimization of a child.  This case is particularly disturbing given the defendant’s former position as a teacher and tutor.” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric S. Birnbaum.  “We hope the resulting sentence from this investigation sends a clear message to anyone involved in the online sexual exploitation of a child:  the FBI  is steadfast and committed to identifying child predators and protecting the innocence of our children.”


DEFENDANT                                               Case Number 14cr0635-WQH                                            

Marlin Lee Gougher                                       Age: 59           Oceanside, CA




Distribution and Receipt of Images of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 2252(a)(2)

Maximum penalty: 20 years’ imprisonment with a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years. Lifetime of supervised release


Possession of Images of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 2252(a)(4)

Maximum penalty: 20 years’ imprisonment. Lifetime of supervised release




Federal Bureau of Investigation



Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 
Updated December 15, 2017