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Minneapolis Man Sentenced for Distributing Child Pornography

MINNEAPOLIS—Earlier in federal court in St. Paul, a 51-year-old Minneapolis man was sentenced for distributing child pornography. United States District Court Judge Donovan W. Frank sentenced Robert Andrew Gozola to 240 months in federal prison and, following incarceration, supervised release for life. Gozola was indicted on May 8, 2012, and pleaded guilty on August 22, 2012, to one count of distribution of child pornography.

In his plea agreement, Gozola admitted that on November 23, 2011, he sent images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct to an undercover police officer over a peer-to-peer file sharing program. In addition, Gozola admitted possessing more than 6,000 similar images on his computer, some of which included sadistic or masochistic content. The computer, on which Gozola had installed a peer-to-peer program, was seized during the execution of state search warrant at his residence on January 19, 2012.

This case was the result of an investigation by the Minnesota Cybercrime Task Force, which includes the Minneapolis Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Calhoun-Lopez.

Distribution of child pornography is against the law. In addition to prosecuting these cases, the Justice Department is presently funding a study focused on the correlation between involvement in child pornography and hands-on sexual abuse of children. A 2008 study (“The Butner Study”) published in the Journal of Family Violence found that up to 80 percent of federal inmates incarcerated for possession, receipt, or distribution of child pornography also admitted to hands-on sexual abuse of children, ranging from touching to rape.

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