Federal arrest of St Augustine sex offender

United States Attorney Robert E O’Neill announced to Historic City News today that 66-year-old Charles Lee Gorish, a registered sex offender, has been charged by a federal criminal complaint with international transportation of child pornography from Florida to Canada.

Gorish was arrested at his St Augustine residence located at at 5412 Choctaw St on September 7, 2012, and, if convicted, Gorish faces at least 15 years, and up to 40 years in federal prison.

According to the criminal complaint, Gorish sent a package, via Federal Express, to an individual in Ontario, Canada. The package contained, among other things, two micro SD media cards with numerous images of child pornography.

The pornographic media was intercepted by Canadian law enforcement officers. Canadian officials notified the St Johns County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement regarding the seizure.

Further investigation revealed that Gorish is a registered sex offender. According to court records, he was convicted on February 24, 1992, in Hillsborough County, Florida for lewd and lascivious conduct on a child under 16 years of age.

On Friday, FBI agents executed a federal search warrant at Gorish’s residence, with assistance from the St Johns County Sheriff’s Office. During an interview, Gorish admitted, among other things, that he acquired the files on the SD cards, depicting sexually explicit images of boys, from the Internet over a period of years. He was subsequently arrested.

A criminal complaint is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Canadian Border Services Agency, Ottawa Police Services, St Johns County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.

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