Criminal Justice News

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Cottage Grove Man Sentenced for Distributing Child Pornography

MINNEAPOLIS—Earlier today in federal court, a 31-year-old Cottage Grove man was sentenced to 170 months in prison for distributing images and videos containing child pornography. Steven Michael Borgan, Jr., was indicted on August 8, 2011. On November 29, 2011, he appeared before United States District Court Judge John R. Tunheim to plead guilty to one count of distribution of child pornography.

In his plea agreement, Borgan admitted that on November 3, 2010, he distributed via the Internet visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. In addition, Borgan possessed approximately 11,341 images and 2,053 videos of child pornography, including items that portrayed sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence.

A law enforcement affidavit filed in the case states that in November 2010, authorities discovered the peer-to-peer website account Borgan used to share child pornography. On July 25, 2011, police executed a search warrant at the residence where Borgan was staying. They also searched his vehicle. It was during those searches that the images were found.

This case was the result of an investigation by the Minnesota Cyber Crimes Task Force, which is sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Secret Service. Other agencies that participated in the investigation include the FBI task forces in Omaha and Indianapolis, the Iowa Department of Public Safety-Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Cottage Grove Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly A. Svendsen.

Distribution of child pornography is against the law. In addition to prosecuting these cases, the Justice Department is presently funding a study focused on the correlation between involvement in child pornography and hands-on sexual abuse of children. A 2008 study (The Butner Study) published in the “Journal of Family Violence” found that up to 80 percent of federal inmates incarcerated for possession, receipt, or distribution of child pornography also admitted to hands-on sexual abuse of children, ranging from touching to rape.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and identify and rescue victims. For more information about PSC, please visit For more information about Internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab “Resources.”

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