Father, son, girlfriend face child porn-related charges

Detention hearing revealed that some of the abuse occurred during Skype video calls

From left to right, James Hickerson, Neil Hickerson and Carolyn Knudsen, August 28, 2014. (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)
From left to right, James Hickerson, Neil Hickerson and Carolyn Knudsen, August 28, 2014. (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — A 35-year-old Gresham man, his girlfriend and father have each been charged with federal offenses related to child pornography.

Authorities arrested James Lee Hickerson on Tuesday after a judge approved a criminal complaint charging him with receipt and possession of child pornography.

According to information presented at the detention hearing that followed his arrest, James Hickerson admitted to sexually abusing his girlfriend’s child in Washington and Oregon and taking screen shots of his girlfriend abusing her child while they were on Skype.

James Hickerson made his initial appearance in federal court on Wednesday. If convicted of the pending charges, he faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and up to 30 years. James Hickerson would also be required to serve a minimum of five years on supervision upon release from prison and be required to register as a sex offender.

James Hickerson’s father, 56-year-old Neil Lee Hickerson of Gresham, was charged in a separate complaint with possession of child pornography.

Since Neil Hickerson has previously been convicted of an offense relating to abusive sexual conduct relating to a minor, he is facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to 20 years in prison. That sentence would to be followed by a minimum of five years and up to life on supervised release.

Neil Hickerson also made an initial appearance on Wednesday and was temporarily detained, pending a detention hearing on Friday.

A search warrant executed by officers at the Hickersons’ residence led to the charges against James and Neil plus Carolyn M. Knudsen, James’ girlfriend.

The 28-year-old from Camas, Washington, is charged in a separate criminal complaint with production of child pornography and aiding and abetting.

If convicted, Knudsen faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison and up to 30 years. She would also be required to serve a minimum of five years on supervised release after completion of her prison sentence and would be required to register as a sex offender.

Knudsen was also arrested Tuesday and made her initial appearance in federal court Wednesday afternoon with a detention hearing set for Friday.

Law enforcement also identified and rescued a young child in Camas who, evidence reveled, had been sexually abused. The matter was referred to Child Protective Services in Vancouver.

All three cases will be presented to a federal grand jury and additional charges may be filed.

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