St. Joseph Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing Child Pornography
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 28, 2010|
A 28-year-old St. Joseph man pleaded guilty earlier today in federal court in St. Paul to possessing more than 600 images and videos of child pornography. Steven Allen Braun appeared before United States District Court Judge Donovan W. Frank and pled guilty to one count of possession of child pornography. Braun was indicted on September 21, 2010. In his plea agreement, Braun admitted that from an unknown date through October 28, 2008, he possessed visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The items had been sent via the Internet and were kept on his computer.
Authorities learned about Braun during an investigation of people who used peer-to-peer computer software to share child pornography. On October 28, 2008, police executed a search warrant at Braun’s residence as part of that investigation. There, at Braun’s home, they found the pornographic images on his computer.
For his crime, Braun faces a potential maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison. Judge Frank will determine his sentence at a future hearing, yet to be scheduled.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Minneapolis Police Department, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles J. Kovats, Jr.
The U.S. Department of Justice is committed to combating the sexual exploitation of children, particularly via the Internet. For more information about these efforts, please visit the Department’s Project Safe Childhood website, at www.projectsafechildhood.gov.