Man sentenced to 27 years for production of child pornography

Adam Lee Reitz, 30, and Shahla Marie Thompson, 28, of Rochester, Minnesota.

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May 11, 2018 the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children notified the Rochester Police Department about online communications between Adam Lee Reitz and Shahla Marie Thomson that contained images of child pornography.

 

A search of their electronic devices revealed multiple images depicting a child under the age of 10 engaged in sexual activity with a man identified as Reitz due to distinctive tattoos.

 

“Those who sexually exploit children do serious lasting harm, and the manufacture and trade of child pornography cruelly perpetuates this damage,” said Michael Paul, acting special agent in charge of the FBI’s Minneapolis field office in a statement released by the Department of Justice. “The FBI and its partners are committed to finding such predators, locking them up, and ensuring those they've victimized are safe and well-supported.”

 

Both Reitz and Thompson were charged at the state and then finally the federal level. The state charges against the two were slowly dropped over time, most notably when County Attorney Mark Ostrem issued a statement attesting that in order to obey an order from the District Court he would be in violation of federal law.

 

According to KIMT3, the County Attorney's Office maintained the evidence against Thompson at a secure location, according to usual procedures, available to Thompson's attorneys for review.  When her attorneys refused to go to that location to review the evidence, the District Court ordered that prosecution provide copies of the evidence to the defense.

 

“Every instance of reproduction/distribution of child pornography is another instance of victimization of a young child,” Ostrem said when dismissing the charge after he has spoken with the victim's custodial parent.

 

October 29, 2019 Reitz, now 30, pleaded guilty to one count of producing child pornography.  He was sentenced Wednesday, August 26 by U.S. District Court Judge Nancy E. Brasel to 27 years in prison and 25 years of supervised release.

 

July 13, 2020 Thompson, now 38, pleaded guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography.  There is no additional information available on the Project Safe Childhood website concerning her plea or when her sentencing is scheduled to take place.

 

“The sexual abuse of children is among the most abhorrent criminal acts,” said U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald. “When it comes to protecting society’s most vulnerable, we will not relent.  As demonstrated in today’s sentence, justice will be served.”

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