Tuttle Man Draws 50-year Federal Prison Sentence for Child Exploitation Conviction

By the U.S. Department of Justice, United States Attorney Christopher C. Myers, District of North Dakota

BISMARCK – US Attorney Christopher C. Myers announced that on February 6, 2017, Calvin Bernhardt, 54, Tuttle, ND, was sentenced before Chief United States District Judge Daniel L. Hovland to serve 50 years in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, on charges of: Attempted Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Attempted Receipt of Materials Depicting the Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Counterfeit Currency, Tampering with Witness or Evidence, and Attempted Travel with Intent to Engage in Sexual Acts with a Minor.

Bernhardt was found guilty of the above charges on October 28, 2016, following nearly four days of trial. Evidence introduced at trial demonstrated that, from approximately September 2015 to approximately March 2016, Bernhardt induced and enticed a 14-year-old minor from the Philippines to engage in and produce images of sexually explicit conduct via the internet. Bernhardt further induced the minor to send him the sexually explicit or sadistic and masochistic images. Once Bernhardt became aware of an investigation into his illegal conduct, he contacted the mother of the victim in the Philippines and instructed her to delete any images of himself and the minor on the minor’s cellphone and further instructed her to not talk to United States federal law enforcement officials in the Philippines. Communications between Bernhardt and the victim revealed that Bernhardt was attempting to arrange a meeting with the minor in a Philippines hotel with the intent of engaging in sexual acts with her.

This case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations in Bismarck; Homeland Security Investigations-Manila, Philippines; and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Assistant US Attorneys Gary Delorme and Jonathan O’Konek prosecuted the case.