Home Seattle Press Releases 2009 Vancouver Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Production and Receipt of Child Pornography

Vancouver Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Production and Receipt of Child Pornography
Defendant Admits Making Pornographic Videos of Young Relatives

U.S. Attorney’s Office December 11, 2009
  • Western District of Washington (206) 553-7970

MICHAEL JOSEPH GILBERT, 56, of Vancouver, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 20 years in prison and lifetime supervised release for Production of Child Pornography and Receipt of Child Pornography. In his plea agreement GILBERT admits he made sexually explicit videos of two young girls when the children were as young as 5 and 6 years old. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton told GILBERT, “What you did was horrific... I cannot accept any assurances that it will not happen again.” Judge Leighton said he wants to “deter others who would engage in this activity.”

In his plea agreement signed August 25, 2009, GILBERT admits to making sexually explicit videos of the young girls on multiple occasions over the last five years. When law enforcement executed a search warrant on GILBERT’s home they seized three video tapes made by GILBERT as well as child pornography he had obtained from the Internet via peer-to-peer file sharing programs. GILBERT was originally identified as someone trading child pornography over the Internet during an FBI undercover investigation of peer-to-peer file sharing. A forensic review of GILBERT’s computer revealed that he possessed more than 6,000 images of child pornography, including images of his young relatives.

In asking for a lengthy sentence, Assistant United States Attorney Aravind Swaminathan wrote to the court that GILBERT and others perpetuate the child pornography market. “Gilbert’s conduct perpetuated an industry that is based on the sexual abuse, exploitation, and torture of helpless children,” Mr. Swaminathan wrote in his sentencing memo. Mr. Swaminathan noted that GILBERT has demonstrated he is dangerous to children. “He betrayed that trust by preying upon unsuspecting girls and violating them in a personal and unimaginable way,” Mr. Swaminathan wrote to the court.

The case was investigated by the FBI.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Aravind Swaminathan.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@usdoj.gov.