A Thief River Falls man has been sentenced to 45 years in prison for the production of child pornography.
Benjamin Roggenbuck, 39, who pleaded guilty in September, was sentenced in U.S. District Court Tuesday. As part of his plea agreement, Roggenbuck also pleaded guilty to charges of criminal sexual conduct.
According to the guilty plea, Roggenbuck attempted to use two prepubescent minor girls to produce sexually explicit content from November 2012 to February 2020. He also admitted to processing and distributing child pornography.
“The sentence handed down today ensures that this predator will no longer pose a threat or cause harm to innocent children,” said U.S. Attorney Erica H. MacDonald in a statement. “I commend our law enforcement partners who stand with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in our fight against child exploitation.”
The case was part of the Project Safe Childhood, a Department of Justice initiative using federal, state and local agencies to apprehend and prosecute individuals using the Internet to exploit children.
The case was investigated by the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and Thief River Falls Police Department.
“While 45 years in prison is appropriate for this case, these children are now permanent victims of a crime no person should ever experience,” said BCA Superintendent Drew Evans in a statement. “The BCA will continue to pursue criminals who would exploit Minnesota’s children in this terrible way and bring them to justice.”