Oklahoma City Man Indicted for Sexually Abusing a Child and Producing Child Pornography

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

PORTLAND, Ore.—A federal grand jury in Portland returned an indictment today charging an Oklahoma City man for sexually abusing a child, capturing the abuse on video, and sharing the video online.

Jeremy L. Peterson, 42, has been charged with production of child pornography.

According to court documents, on February 18, 2022, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents received information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding a video depicting child sexual abuse. The video was discovered during a review of evidence seized by HSI agents in a separate case in Iowa. 

Agents reviewed the digital video file and determined it was created in a residential apartment complex in Eugene. The agents further identified several distinctive physical characteristics of the abuser in the video, including a scorpion tattoo on the man’s chest. In the video, the minor victim repeatedly asks the man to stop the abuse. Despite these requests, the man continued to abuse the victim.

HSI agents surveilled the apartment complex and interviewed its property manager. They obtained rental documents from a unit in the complex where they believed the abuse video was created and found the name of another adult and child listed as members of the household. The agents then interviewed the principal of a nearby elementary school who positively identified the child from a screen capture taken from the abuse video. The principal checked school records and confirmed that the child’s address matched the apartment in question.

On February 24, 2022, investigators searched the apartment and identified furniture, carpeting, and bed sheets consistent with those appearing in the abuse video. They then found photos of Peterson on Facebook and observed that his likeness matched that of the abuser depicted in the video. Upon searching Peterson’s criminal history records, agents obtained a booking photo from a 2011 arrest in Nebraska that showed Peterson had a scorpion tattoo like the one observed in the video.

On February 28, 2022, Peterson was arrested and made his first appearance in federal court in the Western District of Oklahoma, pleaded not guilty, and was detained pending transfer to Oregon. On Tuesday, March 15, he made his first appearance in the District of Oregon, where he ordered detained pending further court proceedings. He will be arraigned on today’s indictment on April 13, 2022.

If convicted, Peterson faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison with a 15-year mandatory minimum, a $250,000 fine, and a life term of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.


This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in the District of Oregon and the Western District of Oklahoma, with assistance from the Eugene Police Department. It is being prosecuted by William McLaren, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Anyone who has information about the physical or online exploitation of children are encouraged to contact HSI at (866) 347-2423 or submit a tip online at www.ice.gov/tips.

Federal law defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor. Child sexual abuse material depicts actual crimes being committed against children. Not only do these images and videos document victims’ exploitation and abuse, but when shared across the internet, child victims suffer re-victimization each time the image of their abuse is viewed. To learn more, please visit the NCMEC’s website at www.missingkids.org.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Justice Department to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.