Former Des Moines resident convicted of production and possession of child pornography
Made Videos of Sexually Explicit Conduct with Sleeping Children
A U.S. District Court jury found a former Des Moines, Washington man guilty of producing and possessing images of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. Robert. D. Thorson, 58, was arrested May 30, 2016, after his girlfriend called Des Moines police after finding sexually explicit images of minors onThorson’s phone. Over the three-day trial jurors heard testimony about images on Thorson’s phone, computer, thumb drives and DVDs. Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez scheduled sentencing in the case for March 12, 2017.
According to records in the case and testimony at trial, Thorson’s girlfriend examined his phone looking for evidence he was seeing other women. Instead she found images of Thorson molesting young girls who resided in her home. The woman called Des Moines Police and Thorson was arrested. When investigators examined Thorson’s electronic devices they found images showing Thorson disturbing the clothing and bedding of sleeping children so he could make sexually explicit photos. Thorson’s clothing, tatoos and body parts appear in some of the images. Thorson’s electronic devices also contained images from a hidden camera installed in a bathroom at the home that captured minor children using the bathroom and the shower. While Thorson was in custody he sent letters to his former girlfriend threatening her and demanding she change her statements to police.
Production of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen years in prison.
The case was investigated by the Des Moines Police Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Hobbs and Special Assistant United States Attorney Cecelia Gregson. Ms. Gregson is Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney specially designated to prosecute child exploitation cases in federal court.