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Man, woman get decades in prison for producing child porn

They're accused of sexually abusing minors in order to take videos and photos of the abuse.

A man and woman from northern Minnesota have been sentenced to dozens of years in federal prison for producing and attempting to produce child pornography.

Matthew James Gunderson, 31, of Sturgeon Lake, and Amanda May Walsh, 39, of Aitkin, were sentenced Wednesday on child pornography charges, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a news release.

Gunderson was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison, while Walsh has been sentenced to 19 years. They each will also have to serve 10 years each of supervised release once they get out of prison and will be required to register as sex offenders and follow reporting requirements, which could last the rest of their lives. 

Court documents say both Walsh on Jan. 22, 2019, and at other times, engaged in the sexual abuse of a minor for the purpose of making videos and taking photos of the abuse. Gunderson is accused of doing the same against minors on Jan. 24, 2019, and Jan. 26, 2019, and other dates. 

A 2019 story by the Forum News Service said Gunderson and Walsh were in a relationship and the case involves at least two children.

Court documents state the Aitkin County Sheriff's Office began investigating the case in February 2019 after someone who was staying with Walsh saw she had nude images of the girl on her phone and had sent sexually explicit text messages to the victim. 

The case against Gunderson and Walsh was part of Project Safe Childhood, a national initiative the U.S. Department of Justice launched in 2006 to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse. Project Safe Childhood uses federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute people who exploit children on the internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. 

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Aitkin County Sheriff's Office investigated the cases involving Gunderson and Walsh.

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