WASHINGTON – A Wisconsin man was charged in an indictment yesterday with the crimes of producing and possessing child pornography and engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Matthew D. Krueger of the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
Jeffrey H. Ernisse, 61, is currently incarcerated for state offenses related to child exploitation at the Red Granite Correctional Institution in Wisconsin. A grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin indicted Ernisse on two counts of producing child pornography, two counts of producing child pornography outside of the United States, one count of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor in the Philippines and one count of possessing child pornography.
According to the indictment, on or about March 10, 2015 and then again, on or about April 7, 2015, Ernisse used a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing child pornography. Between approximately June 17, 2014, and approximately April 11, 2015, Ernisse engaged in illicit sexual conduct with a minor in the Republic of the Philippines. And on or about Dec. 18, 2015, Ernisse possessed child pornography.
The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is investigating this case with the cooperation of the Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Police Department. Trial Attorney William M. Grady of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Megan J. Paulson and Penelope L. Coblentz of the Eastern District of Wisconsin are prosecuting the case.
This investigation is a 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. Attorneys’ Offices and 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.justice.gov/psc.
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