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Date: 03-18-2024

Case Style:

United States of America v. Dirk Walter Tichgelaar

Case Number: 2:21-cr-00114

Judge: Robert S. Lasnik

Court: The United States District Court for the Western District of Washington (King County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: The United States Attorney’s Office in Seattle

Defendant's Attorney: Gilbert H. Levy - 206-443-0670


Seattle, Washington criminal defense lawyer represented the Defendant charged with child sexual abuse crimes .

Traveled from Portland, Oregon to Whatcom County, Washington, believing he would rape a 5-year-old

A 49-year-old Portland, Oregon man was sentenced to 25 years in prison for attempted enticement of a minor and possession of images of child sexual abuse. Dirk Tichgelaar has been in custody since his arrest on January 25, 2020. At the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik ordered lifetime supervised release to follow the prison term.

“This defendant acted on his predatory impulse to harm a child – he traveled hundreds of miles thinking he would rape a 5-year-old. The child was fictitious, but his dark intentions were not,” said U.S. Attorney Gorman. “This is a long sentence, but a necessary one, to protect the community.”

According to records filed in the case, Homeland Security Investigations used an internet chat room known to be associated with the trade of images of child sexual abuse, to investigate child predators. Beginning in October 2019, Tichgelaar communicated with an undercover officer about his desire to rape young girls. The undercover officer pretended he had a 5-year-old daughter and Tichgelaar made detailed messages about his desire to rape the child.

Tichgelaar made arrangements to drive from Portland for the sexual abuse, bringing an “Elsa” costume with him as a present for the child. He was arrested when he arrived at the meeting location.

A court authorized search of his home resulted in the seizure of electronic devices including a thumb drive with multiple images of child sexual abuse. Tichgelaar is a registered sex offender due to a 2005 Oregon conviction for first degree sexual abuse.

"In safeguarding our communities' youth, including those as young as 5 years old, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) remains resolute in our mission to combat child exploitation. The recent sentencing of Tichgelaar exemplifies our unwavering commitment to utilizing every available resource to protect innocent children from predators,” said Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer, who oversees HSI operations in the Pacific Northwest. “This case underscores the importance of our ongoing efforts to ensure a safer environment for our most vulnerable members and highlights the necessity of continued vigilance in combating child exploitation."

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Hampton with assistance from Oregon Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Sussman.


Defendant was found guilty and sentenced to 25 years in prison And a lifetime supervised release to follow the prison term.

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