Utah Victim One of Several Nationwide
PORTLAND, Ore. - Joshua Kistler, 31, of Beaverton, Oregon, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Ancer L. Haggerty to 293 months for producing child pornography, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher and United States Attorney Karin J. Immergut announced today.
On December 14, 2006, Kistler pled guilty to a single-count indictment. A term of supervised release and restitution will be imposed at a later time. This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations and involved numerous districts through the United States, most notably, the District of Utah in Salt Lake City.
"The very severe sentence in this case will hopefully send a strong message to those who seek to prey on children," stated U.S. Attorney Karin J. Immergut. "Cases such as these will continue to be aggressively prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in the District of Oregon, as well as by the U.S. Department of Justice under the Project Safe Childhood Initiative."
During his plea in December, Kistler admitted that throughout the summer and fall of 2004, he began engaging in online chat sessions with a minor female in Utah, referred to in the indictment as "MD." He stated that during these conversations he pretended to be a 15-year-old boy named "Trevor" and sent images of his stepson, an actual 15-year-old, to MD to convince her of his age. Kistler fabricated a story about the 15-year-old boy having cancer, apparently in an effort to gain sympathy and to explain why he did not appear online.
Through the course of their relationship, Kistler repeatedly talked with MD about sexual subjects and requested that she engage in sexual acts in front of her "webcam." When she engaged in these acts, Kistler was able to view and record them, which he did on several occasions. In an effort to ensure MD continued her contact with "Trevor", even over her mother's forbiddance, Kistler told MD that another girl he chatted with online had killed herself because he cut off contact with her due to MD's jealously. After hearing this information, MD was overcome by guilt and attempted to commit suicide. Her suicide attempt ultimately led to the involvement of law enforcement, which then led to Kistler's identification and prosecution.
During a search of his residence, law enforcement seized various computer media containing sexually explicit images of minors about which Kistler made statements, indicating that he knew exactly what he was doing, knew that "[m]inors are taboo", and then told agents that, "I've always been a collector." He gave agents detailed information about the software he used to view and record the webcam videos, which did not alert the person with whom he was sharing a connection. The defendant also described his use of software designed to simulate reciprocal webcam video. In this case, Kistler used the software to stream video of a 15-year-old boy to his victims and claimed it was "Trevor." He did this for the purpose of deceiving those minors with whom he was chatting.
During the sentencing hearing, evidence revealed that Kistler also had conversations over the Internet and via webcam with several other minor females across the country, between the ages of 12 and 15. Kistler also convinced these minors to engage in sexually explicit acts in front of their "webcams" and recorded these acts without their knowledge. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Greg Nyhus and Trial Attorney Steve Grocki of the Department of Justice.