PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - A former Portland man is awaiting sentencing after allegedly abusing several young girls more than a decade ago.
Andrew Kowalczyk, 44, is facing up to 30 years in prison for the repeated sexual abuse and exploitation of three minor female victims, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oregon says. A federal grand jury took about 20 minutes Friday to find him guilty.
The attorney’s office says Kowalczyk used to babysit two of the victims while their mother searched for work and housing; he allegedly abused the third at his apartment in southeast Portland. At least one of the victims was as young as two years old, the attorney’s office says.
Investigators first contacted Kowalczyk in Washington state in 2007 after an officer attempted to pull him over for multiple traffic violations. The traffic stop unsuccessful and ended in a high-speed pursuit.
Officers terminated the pursuit for safety reasons but later found Kowalczyk at a hotel in Puyallup and seized his belongings, which included two pieces of luggage and a backpack.
Law enforcement say they found “a tremendous” amount of child pornography on digital equipment inside Kowalczyk’s luggage. They say some of it featured young girls and appeared to be homemade.
Investigators used metadata and confirmed some images were created using a digital camera they found inside Kowalczyk’s luggage.
A woman later identified as the young girls’ mother told investigators she had allowed Kowalczyk to watch her daughters in Portland while she searched for employment and housing.
She said she believed Kowalczyk had treated her daughters well and said he had even bought one of the girls a birthday cake. Investigators say the cake appeared in several non-pornographic images found on Kowalczyk’s devices.
A federal grand jury in 2008 charged Kowalczyk with a single count of sexual exploitation of children. A superseding indictment with eight additional counts of sexual exploitation of children was retuned in March 2012.
The attorney’s office says Kowalczyk sought the replacement of counsel more than a dozen times and filed extensive motions to suppress evidence, which caused the decades-long delay.
Kowalczyk now faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison with a 15-year mandatory minimum on each of the nine counts he is facing. He is scheduled to be sentenced in March next year.
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