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Two Harbors man charged with producing child porn

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MINNEAPOLIS — A concentrated focus on child exploitation has resulted in a federal indictment charging a 37-year-old Two Harbors man with producing child pornography.

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The single count was unsealed this week as Joel Ray Allard made his initial appearance Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis.

The indictment accuses Allard of producing visual depictions of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct in August and September 2011, and alleges that he enticed the minor to do so.

Allard faces at least 15 years in prison if convicted.

The case is moving forward as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide U.S. Justice Department initiative to combat a growing problem of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Federal, state and local law enforcement work to locate, apprehend and prosecute people who sexually exploit children and rescue the victims.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office further points out that a 2008 study shows that up to 80 percent of federal inmates incarcerated for child pornography also admit to hands-on sexual abuse of children. A new study is underway.

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