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Woodbury Man Charged in Child Sextortion Scheme

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A Woodbury man has been indicted for the production and possession of child pornography and coercing minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

According to court documents, on multiple occasions between approximately July 10, 2021, and March 11, 2022, Timothy Lennard Gebhart, 37, coerced a 16-year-old child, Minor A, and a 14-year-old, Minor B, to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing pornographic videos. After obtaining the images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, Gebhart distributed the videos via computer and cellular phone. Gebhart then used the pornographic videos to extort money and other items of value from Minor A, threatening to damage the victim's reputation by sending nude photos and videos to their family and friends.

The indictment charges Gebhart with two counts of production and attempted production of child pornography, one count of distribution of child pornography, and one count of interstate communications with intent to extort. Gebhart made his initial appearance on June 21, 2024, in U.S. District Court before Magistrate Judge Douglas L. Micko.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorney's Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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 http://www.justice.gov/psc.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Woodbury Police Department, Greene County (Indiana) Sheriff's Department, the Indiana State Police, and the FBI, with assistance from the Owatonna Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Classen is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

 

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