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Press Release

Forest City Man Sentenced for a Child Pornography Offense

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

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA – A Forest City man was sentenced on February 28, 2023, to 120 months in prison following his plea of guilty to possession of child pornography.

According to court documents, on April 28, 2021, an Iowa State Trooper pulled over Gerald Lawrence Von Ruden, age 53. Von Ruden had an outstanding arrest warrant. Based on the nature of the warrant, the Trooper seized Van Ruden’s electronic devices. A forensic analysis of those devices revealed that Von Ruden received and possessed numerous images and videos of child pornography.

United States Attorney Richard D. Westphal of the Southern District of Iowa made the announcement. The Iowa State Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case.

This case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa as part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Childhood” initiative, which was started in 2006 as a nationwide effort to combine law enforcement investigations and prosecutions, community action, and public awareness in order to reduce the incidence of sexual exploitation of children. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit and click on the resources tab.


MacKenzie Tubbs
Public Information Officer 

Updated March 3, 2023

Project Safe Childhood