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Press Release

Former Des Moines Resident Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison for Child Pornography Offenses

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

DES MOINES, Iowa—On February 25, 2019, Joel Thomas Augard, 50, formerly of Des Moines, appeared before United States District Court Chief Judge John A. Jarvey and was sentenced to forty years in prison for two counts of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. Augard pleaded guilty to the offenses on October 22, 2018. Following completion of his prison term, Augard will be required to register as a sex offender and will be on supervised release for twenty years.

In April 2018, a victim reported to the Des Moines Police Department that the victim had been sexually abused on multiple occasions by Augard in Des Moines approximately 10 years earlier, when the victim was a child and Augard video recorded some of the sexual abuse. Law enforcement from several different agencies worked together to investigate these crimes. On May 1, 2018, investigators executed a search warrant at a residence in Cherokee, Iowa, where Augard was residing at that time. Police located several items of electronic media that contained child pornography. These items included videos made by Augard that depicted his sexual abuse of the victim approximately ten years earlier in Des Moines.

In announcing the sentence, United States Attorney Krickbaum stated, “All victims of sexual abuse should know they can report their abuse to law enforcement, even if many years have passed. We will take your report seriously, and we will fight for justice on your behalf.” 

This case was investigated by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Des Moines Police Department, Polk County Attorney’s Office and FBI Child Exploitation Task Force. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.


Rachel J. Scherle

Updated February 27, 2019

Project Safe Childhood