Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MICHELLE LYNN GSCHLECHT, formerly known as Richard Gschlecht, 51, last residing in New Haven, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley in Bridgeport to 120 months of imprisonment, followed by 10 years of supervised release, for possessing images of child sexual abuse.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in August 1996, Gschlecht was convicted in state court of sexual assault in the first degree related to the aggravated sexual abuse of a minor. In July 2015, Gschlecht was convicted in state court of possession of child pornography.
In March 2019, Gschlecht began serving a 10-year term of state probation. In July 2019, Gschlecht’s probation officer received information that Gschlecht was in possession of a cellphone that contained images depicting the sexual abuse of minors. State probation officers arrested Gschlecht on July 31, 2019, after a review of her phone revealed images of child pornography. Subsequent forensic analysis of the phone revealed approximately 174 images of child pornography, including images depicting the sexual abuse of prepubescent children and infants.
Gschlecht has been detained since her arrest. On January 11, 2021, she pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography.
The penalties in this matter were enhanced based on Gschlecht’s criminal history.
This matter was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the New Haven Police Department, with the assistance of the Connecticut’s Office of Adult Probation. The case was prosecuted by Nancy V. Gifford.
This prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, which is aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
To report cases of child exploitation, please visit www.cybertipline.com.