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Menahga man sentenced for possessing child pornography

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On Monday in federal court in Fergus Falls, a 46-year-old man from Menahga was sentenced for possessing more than 300 images of child pornography. United States District Court Judge John R. Tunheim sentenced Brent Michael Freeman to 36 months in prison on one count of possession of child pornography. Freeman was indicted on March 18, 2010, and pleaded guilty on March 4, 2011.

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In his plea agreement, Freeman admitted that on July 9, 2007, he knowingly possessed visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct, those images having been transported via a computer.

This case was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is an affiliate of the Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Erika R. Mozangue.

Presently, the Justice Department is funding a study concerning the correlation between involvement in child pornography and the 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.

The U.S. Department of Justice is committed to combating the sexual exploitation of children, particularly via the Internet. In Fiscal Year 2010, 2,235 defendants pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges, 2,222 of whom were sentenced to prison. In Fiscal Year 2009, 2,083 defendants were sentenced to prison on child pornography charges. For more information about these efforts, please visit the Department's Project Safe Childhood website, at www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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