Juneau man pleads to federal child porn charges

Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2003

JUNEAU - A Juneau man accused of using the Internet to attempt to lure a young boy into a sexual relationship pleaded guilty Tuesday to lesser charges.

Joseph L. Geist, 51, pleaded guilty to attempted possession of child pornography in federal court.

He was indicted by a federal grand jury in November on charges of using electronic mail and a cell phone for attempted sexual abuse of a minor and possession of child pornography, both felonies.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Geist allegedly promised trips, gifts and driving lessons from June 2002 through November 2002 as incentives to convince a 13-year-old boy, whose name was not released, to have a sexual relationship with him. According to court records, the two never had a sexual relationship.

As part of a plea agreement between Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Skrocki and federal public defender Michael Dieni, Geist agreed to attend a sexual offender treatment program while in prison and to forfeit a laptop computer he used to collect images of child pornography.

A sentencing recommendation was not included in the plea agreement. Geist's sentence will be determined by U.S. District Judge John W. Sedwick.

Geist's sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 10. He faces up to five years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

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