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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Arkansas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Rogers Man Sentenced To 60 Months In Prison For Child Pornography Offense

Fayetteville - Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Craig Goettsch, 53, of Rogers, Arkansas was sentenced today to 60 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for Possession of Child Pornography. The sentencing took place before the Honorable Timothy L. Brooks in the United States District Court in Fayetteville.

U. S. Attorney Eldridge commented, “Today’s sentence is a reminder that we will not rest in our efforts to identify, investigate, and prosecute those who commit crimes against our children. Every time a video or image involving sexual abuse of children is downloaded or viewed, those children are re-victimized. We appreciate the hard work of law enforcement to bring these sexual predators to justice.”

According to court records, in May 2013, members of the Northwest Arkansas Internet Crimes Against Children taskforce identified a computer that was engaging in the distribution of child pornography via an internet file sharing program. A subsequent investigation revealed that the subscriber information related to the suspect internet user account returned to a residence in Rogers, Arkansas, and a subscriber name of Craig Goettsch. In response, law enforcement obtained a search warrant for the Goettsch’s residence. The warrant was executed in January of 2014, at which time law enforcement seized numerous computers and other digital storage devices. Goettsch was later interviewed and admitted to using the internet to download and view child pornography. A subsequent forensic examination of the confiscated items revealed thousands of images of child pornography. On October 2, 2014, Goettsch pleaded guilty in Federal Court to possessing child pornography. At sentencing, the Government presented the Court with evidence that some of the minors depicted in the images were as young as 8 years old.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney Dustin Roberts prosecuted the case for the United States.

The 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 Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and their Criminal Division Child Exploitation and Obscenity Sections (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.

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Related court documents may be found on Public Access to Electronic Records Website @www.Pacer.gov

Updated April 10, 2015