Metairie Man Pleads Guilty to Receiving Files Depicting the Sexual Victimization of Children
Published 12:28 pm Thursday, November 10, 2022
NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that MICHAEL GERALD MARCHESE, age 45, a resident of Metairie, Louisiana, pleaded guilty on November 8, 2022 before United States District Judge Wendy Vitter after previously being charged in a one-count indictment with receiving images and videos depicting the sexual exploitation of children, including children as young as approximately one (1) year old, in violation of 18 U.S.C. ‘ 2252(a)(2).
According to court documents, in about July 2021, law enforcement authorities received information that an unidentified individual, subsequently determined to be MARCHESE, was using an internet-based peer-to-peer network that allows users to anonymously share files, chat on message boards, and access websites within the network, to view, download, and store computer files depicting the sexual victimization of children. FBI agents executed a search warrant on MARCHESE’S residence on December 9, 2021 and seized several electronic items, including four (4) portable external hard drives. A review of the items revealed that MARCHESE used the internet and peer-to-peer platforms numerous times throughout 2020 and 2021 to download depictions of children being sexually exploited. The review further confirmed that MARCHESE downloaded at least approximately 4,201 images and 339 videos depicting the sexual victimization of children, including prepubescent minors as young as less than one (1) year old, and that some of the images and videos portrayed sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence.
MARCHESE faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five (5) years and a maximum term of twenty (20) years in prison. MARCHESE also faces a lifetime of supervised release, up to a $250,000 fine, a mandatory $100 special assessment fee and can be required to register as a sex offender. Sentencing before Judge Vitter is scheduled for February 14, 2023, at 1:00 pm.
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 United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s 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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorney Jordan Ginsberg is in charge of the prosecution.