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Child Exploitation
10/05/2009

Ohio father sentenced on child pornography charges

Transported and distributed child pornography with his adult son

COLUMBUS, Ohio - A Westerville, Ohio man was sentenced Monday to 15 years in federal prison on charges of transporting and distributing child pornography following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) led investigation.

Christopher Gould, 51, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr. on April 23 to sexually exploiting children by producing child pornography. His son, Adam Gould, 25, pleaded guilty on April 16 to transportation of child pornography and was sentenced in September. He is currently in federal custody.

"This sentence underscores the particularly heinous nature of these crimes," said Brian Moskowitz, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Detroit. "ICE relentlessly pursues predators who sexually abuse children, whether that abuse is physical in nature or if it's accomplished by exploiting their images. "Our agents will continue to police cyberspace to investigate and bring to justice those individuals who exploit the most vulnerable in our society, our children."

On Oct. 29, 2008, ICE special agents and Westerville police officers executed a federal search warrant at Adam Gould's Westerville home. Subsequently, ICE agents seized two laptop computers belonging to him. ICE agents conducted a forensic examination and discovered the two laptops contained more than 2,500 pictures and 78 movies of child pornography.

Agents also seized a briefcase containing photographs Christopher Gould admitted taking of a 12-year-old girl in sexually explicit poses and a computer belonging to Christopher Gould. Forensic analysis of this computer uncovered more than 30 sexually explicit images of the same juvenile and evidence that there had been other photos that Christopher Gould had deleted.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign national predators whose crimes make them deportable. Launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 11,600 individuals through Operation Predator.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.

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