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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Vermont

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 24, 2015

East Montpelier Man Sentenced To Prison For Child Pornography Offense

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Michael Karlberg, 26, of East Montpelier, Vermont, was sentenced on February 23, 2015, in United States District Court in Burlington, Vermont, to serve a lifetime period of supervised release following his conviction on one count of possession of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(4)(B).  Judge William K. Sessions III also ordered Karlberg to pay a $100 special assessment.  

According to court records and proceedings, in January 2013, the parents of a minor in Texas notified law enforcement that their daughter was being harassed by a man she had met in a chatroom on the Internet.  The man was pressuring her to take sexually explicit photographs of herself to send to him.  Subsequent investigation identified the man chatting with the minor as Karlberg.  Karlberg consented to law enforcement searching his computer, and on it were found images of child pornography that included sadistic and masochistic conduct and bestiality.  Law enforcement also found evidence that Karlberg had communicated with several other teenage girls and coerced them into masturbating for him on camera.  Unknown to the girls, Karlberg secretly recorded them masturbating for him. 

After reviewing a report of Karlberg’s mental condition and reviewing his personal history and characteristics, Judge Sessions declined to sentence Karlberg to a prison term and, instead, ordered him to be on supervised release for the rest of his life.  Judge Sessions ordered the period of supervised release to be evaluated after 20 years and every five (5) years thereafter to determine if the term of supervision should be terminated.  The government did not object to the sentence.

Acting United States Attorney Eugenia A.P. Cowles commended the efforts of the Vermont Attorney General’s Office in the investigation and prosecution of Karlberg.  The prosecution of Karlberg was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara A. Masterson.  Karlberg was represented by David L. McColgin. 

Acting U.S. Attorney Cowles noted that this prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice=s Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorney=s Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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Updated June 22, 2015