U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Minnesota
(612) 664-5600
October 22, 2015

Twice-Convicted Child Sex Offender Found Guilty by Federal Jury on Child Pornography Charges

United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger and Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division today announced the conviction of REX LEE FURMAN, 52, of Federal Dam, Minnesota, to all counts of the indictment against him. The jury found FURMAN guilty of producing, receiving, distributing and possessing child pornography, as well as committing a felony offense while being required to register as a sex offender. After a three-day trial before Senior U.S. District Judge David S. Doty, the jury returned the guilty verdict in less than two hours. A sentencing date has not been set, however due to his prior convictions, FURMAN is subject to a mandatory life sentence.

As proven at trial, in August 2013 a special agent with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) began an Internet investigation using peer-to-peer (P2P) software. An officer with the Minneapolis Police Department began a separate and independent investigation in October 2013. During these investigations, both law enforcement officers obtained child pornography videos from the same Internet protocol (IP) address linked to the defendant’s home.

As proven at trial, on February 13, 2014, BCA executed a search warrant at FURMAN’s residence in Federal Dam with the assistance of the Cass County Sherriff’s Office. FURMAN acknowledged at that time that he looked for and downloaded child pornography. FURMAN also informed a Special Agent that he had produced images depicting the genitalia of two girls who were in his care at the time. A full forensic analysis of FURMAN’s computers and digital media revealed two sets of child pornography that he produced in August and September of 2012 that included graphic photos and a video of the girls’ genitalia. At the time of the production, one girl turned four-years-old and the other was five-years-old. Investigators also found hundreds of images and videos of child pornography depicting prepubescent children engaged in sex acts with adults.

The defendant has two prior state court convictions for engaging in sex acts with minors. In December 1981, Furman pled guilty to fourth degree criminal sexual conduct in Wright County, Minnesota, for sexually abusing a five-year-old girl who was in his care. On January 13, 1999, the defendant was convicted of first degree criminal sexual conduct in Hennepin County, Minnesota, for sexually abusing a ten-year-old girl in his care. As a result of the second conviction, the defendant was required to register as a sex offender until 2021.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which leads the Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Minneapolis Police Department, which is a member of the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force and the Cass County Sheriff’s Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Melinda A. Williams of the District of Minnesota and Assistant Deputy Chief Alexandra R. Gelber from the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.

Defendant Information:

REX LEE FURMAN, 52 Federal Dam, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Production of child pornography, 13 counts
  • Distribution of child pornography, 2 counts
  • Receipt of child pornography, 1 count
  • Possession of child pornography, 1 count
  • Commission of a felony offense involving a minor when required to register as a sex offender, 1 count
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