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Child Exploitation
07/18/2012

Minnesota man pleads guilty to distributing child porn

MINNEAPOLIS – A southern Minnesota man pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to distributing child pornography. The plea resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Nathan Paul Severson, 27, of Rochester, Minn., pleaded guilty to one count of distributing child pornography. Severson was indicted May 15.

In a plea agreement, Severson admitted that on Jan. 13, 2011 he used his computer to distribute a video showing a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. In addition, he admitted that he possessed about 11,600 still images and 430 videos of child pornography, some of which portrayed sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence.

Authorities found the images and videos on several computers and hard drives when a search warrant was executed at Severson's residence.

For his crime, Severson faces a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison, with a mandatory minimum penalty of five years. His exact sentence will be determined at a future hearing. There is no parole in the federal prison system.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.