Rodney Mead Pelling – Child Pornography Production

A Newberg golf instructor was arraigned in federal court Monday on charges that he used a 12-year-old girl to produce child pornography as they traveled together across the state.

A 10-count indictment handed up in Eugene last month accuses Rodney Mead Pelling, 68, of producing, possessing and receiving sexually explicit images of children.

Pelling pleaded not guilty to all counts. He has been described as an amateur photographer, businessman and history buff.

“This is a very serious case involving the repeated sexual exploitation of a young child,” said Karin Immergut, the U.S. attorney for Oregon, in a news release. The case was “made worse by the fact that Rodney Pelling chose to photograph and thereby memorialize that exploitation.”

The girl, who competed in golf and gymnastic competitions, accompanied Pelling across the state, according to state police, sheriff’s deputies in two counties and FBI agents who investigated the case.

The case against Pelling began in July when he was seen behaving inappropriately with the girl at a motel in Sisters, government prosecutors said.

During those travels and back at his home, Pelling created sexually explicit images of the girl, the government alleges. Those images were produced in Deschutes, Yamhill, Coos and Douglas counties from April 9, 2007, to May 4, 2008, according to the indictment against Pelling.

The indictment also accuses the golf instructor of receiving child pornography at least four times between October 2006 and January 2007, as well as possessing the illegal images in July 2008.

Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies arrested Pelling last July, and he was charged in Deschutes and Yamhill counties with first-degree sex abuse and using a child in the display of sexually explicit conduct — both Measure 11 crimes that carry mandatory-minimum prison sentences. He has been held in the Yamhill County Jail since then.

Federal charges were added in the case last month because investigators believe he downloaded images of the girl to his computers and received child pornography over the Internet.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin ordered that Pelling be held in jail pending his trial, which is set for July 21 before U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken in Eugene.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte

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