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Seattle – In two separate cases, registered sex offenders have pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran.  JOHNATHON R. UMPHLETT, 31, of Arkansas, pleaded guilty today and is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour on January 13, 2021.  MICHAEL DAVID MATHISEN, 68, of SeaTac, Washington, pleaded guilty on October 9, 2020, and is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones on January 8, 2021.  Because both men have prior convictions for sex offenses, each faces a mandatory minimum of ten years in prison.

According to records filed in the case, UMPHLETT was contacted by Seattle Police in June 2019, when a witness at a restaurant reported UMPHLETT was viewing what appeared to be child pornography on his smart phone.  UMPHLETT provided his phone to the Seattle Police Detective for review, and the detective verified a number of images of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.  UMPHALETT has a 2014 conviction in Arkansas for sexually assaulting a seven-year-old boy.

MICHAEL DAVID MATHISEN was contacted by law enforcement in October 2019, following a referral from Microsoft to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) that the account later linked to MATHISEN was uploading images and searching on the internet for images of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.  A search of MATHISEN’s electronic devices revealed nineteen files with images of children being sexually molested and abused. MATHISEN has convictions in 1984 and 1994 for sexually molesting children under the age of nine.

These cases were 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 Attorneys’ 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.justice.gov/psc 

The cases were investigated by the Internet Crimes against Children Task Force led by the Seattle Police Department.  Specifically, Seattle Police and Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case against UMPHLETT, and the King County Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations completed the MATHISEN investigation. 

The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Cecelia Gregson.

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