After a lengthy investigation in Rochester, six men were recently arrested and now face serious criminal charges. Minnesota authorities accused the six men of being involved in a child pornography operation. Each of the men now face various sex crime accusations.
Local authorities worked together with other law enforcement entities on this case including the Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the FBI. The authorities began investigating the alleged operation over 10 months ago. One of their key suspects was a 58-year-old chemistry professor at the local college. The investigators eventually came to believe that the professor had actually made child pornography and then distributed it. He faces seven counts of disseminating child pornography.
Additionally, two 20-year-olds were arrested and face two counts each of disseminating, in addition to 10 counts each of possession of child pornography. A 29-year-old and a 47-year-old also face 10 counts of possession each and one count each of disseminating. Lastly, a 52-year-old was also arrested and charged with one count of possession and one count of disseminating. The details surrounding each man's arrest are unclear.
A conviction for disseminating child pornography yields up to seven years imprisonment while a possession conviction can yield up to five. Additionally, felony convictions could carry steep fines and would require registration as a sex offender. Luckily, in Minnesota, no conviction can be obtained without the presentation of sufficient evidence that is both competent and relevant to the case. Moreover, each man will have every opportunity to defend himself in court, and it will be the burden of prosecutors to prove the accusations against each individual in court and beyond a reasonable doubt.
Source: inforum.com, "Six men, including college professor, arrested in child pornography sting", Robb Jeffries, Feb. 6, 2015