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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 13, 2017

Registered Sex Offender with Two Prior Convictions Sentenced to 15 Years In Prison for Receipt of Images of Child Rape

Seattle Man on State Probation used Library and Café Wifi to try to Hide Illegal Conduct

          A 52-year-old registered sex offender was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 15 years in prison for receipt of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. SCOTT MITCHELL COHEN of Seattle was arrested on January 16, 2016, following an investigation by the Seattle Police Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigation. The investigation revealed that COHEN had more than 600 images and videos of child pornography and had twice been convicted of crimes involving the sexual abuse of children. At sentencing Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez imposed a lifetime period of supervised release.

 

          According to records filed in the case, the investigation began when Google alerted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) the images of child sexual abuse had been uploaded via a google email account. The IP address used was a Seattle Public Library address and later a University District Café wifi site. Through diligent police work tracing false identities used for on line and cell phone accounts detectives were ultimately able to identify COHEN as the user of the email account. When a search warrant was executed on his University District apartment, law enforcement discovered more than 600 images of child pornography on various computers, phones and other electronic devices. COHEN was convicted in 2005 of molesting a female under the age of 12. COHEN was ordered into extensive sexual deviancy treatment. Following treatment, he was convicted in 2010 of a second sex offense, possession of child pornography. COHEN was on state probation for that offense when arrested in this case. The investigation also uncovered that COHEN had been texting with a Texas teenager, attempting to get her to send him sexually explicit images.

 

          In asking for lifetime supervised release, prosecutors wrote to the court: “The defendant has demonstrated that he poses a threat to the safety and well-being of minors in our communities. Despite negative contact with law enforcement and convictions for sex offenses, the defendant has demonstrated that he is either unwilling or unable to abide by society’s rules concerning sexual contact and interactions with minors. The defendant has demonstrated nearly two decades of unacceptable criminal sexual behaviors towards minors. Anything less than lifetime supervision inadequately protects the community.”

 

          This 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 United States Attorneys= Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (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.justice.gov/psc

 

          The case was investigated by the Seattle Police Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) as part of the Internet Crimes against Children Task Force (ICAC).

 

          The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Cecelia Gregson. Ms. Gregson is a Senior Deputy King County Prosecutor specially designated to prosecute child exploitation cases in federal court.

 

Topic(s): 
Cyber Crime
Project Safe Childhood
Updated January 13, 2017