Oregon Man Moves To Green River, Gets Imprisoned 24 Years For Making Child Porn

After a recent move to Green River, Wyoming, from Oregon, Carl Picano will spend the next 15-24 years in prison for making and sharing child sex videos and photos of a preschooler.

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Clair McFarland

April 12, 20235 min read

Carl Joseph Picanco

Editor’s note: This story includes descriptions some readers may find disturbing. Read at your discretion.

A man who moved last year from Oregon to Green River was sentenced this week to between 15 and 24 years in prison for making and sharing child pornography featuring a preschooler.  

Sweetwater County District Court Judge Suzannah G. Robinson on Monday sentenced Carl Joseph Picanco, 28, for two felony child pornography charges and one misdemeanor child endangerment charge shortly after he pleaded guilty to all three counts. 

Data Coordinates 

Picanco videoed and photographed himself performing oral sex on a preschool-age child, and having that child touch his erect penis, in late September of last year, according to the criminal affidavit filed in Picanco’s case. 

Police became aware of the child pornography through a search warrant in Massachusetts.  

Massachusetts State Police Sgt. Ryan Mauer on Dec. 20 was investigating a cyber tip of child sexual exploitation. As he conducted a forensic examination of his suspect’s cellphone, he located hundreds of child-porn images and videos, says the affidavit.  

The data associated with two of the images revealed that the photographer had made the images in Green River, Wyoming. The affidavit says police were able to extract the latitude and longitude of their origin, which pinpointed Picanco’s address. 

Mauer forwarded the data to the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) unit.  

DCI Special Agent Joel Greene followed up on the investigation in Wyoming.  

In one of the images, a preschool-age child lay on her back completely naked, spreading her genitalia with her hands. In the second picture, the same child sat on the bed half naked, holding a cellphone in both hands as an adult male lay next to her with his erect penis exposed within arm’s reach of the child, the affidavit says.  

‘Like-Minded People’ 

Greene interviewed Picanco.  

Picanco said he and his wife moved to green River from Oregon in late September – just before he made the criminal images. 

Four or five years ago, the affidavit says, Picanco got onto the dark web to chat with “like-minded people.” Some of them would send him what he said were unsolicited child-sex images.  

Picanco got a virus on his cellphone from using the dark web system, so he uninstalled that from his phone.  

‘Cartoons’ 

But about three years later, he found a website displaying hentai, which are Japanese cartoon sex scenes, Picanco told police. The hentai he viewed featured children.  

“It made him feel uncomfortable, but not uncomfortable,” the affidavit relates, adding that Picanco justified his viewing in his mind by telling himself he was only looking at cartoons.  

Unlike child pornography featuring real victims, cartoon child pornography is protected by the First Amendment because it does not depict live scenes, according to U.S. Supreme Court case law.  

But for Picanco it was a slippery slope, and he soon found another social media app on which users would send him child pornography, the affidavit says.  

To Appease The Person On The App 

Picanco told Greene that he didn’t like to look at the child sex images, but preferred to chat with others about “kinks and desires,” the affidavit relates.  

He said he saved a few of the images on his phone but later deleted them.  

Picanco felt swayed by some of the users on this site to make his own child sex images featuring the preschool-age child, says the affidavit.  

He ultimately took photos and videos of the child naked and in sex acts to appease a female with whom he’d been chatting, he added.  

Picanco told investigators that he made two or three videos involving the girl and eight or nine photographs.  

People would send Picanco more child porn in exchange for sharing these files, he said, but he was more interested in talking about his fantasies involving children.  

“The erotic messaging was what turned him on,” the affidavit says, adding that Picanco said he preferred “softcore” to hardcore sex talk.  

Picanco told Greene he kept a secret file on his phone to hide child sex images and hentai from his wife, the affidavit says.  

A law enforcement agent searched Picanco’s phone “under consent,” says the affidavit, and found anime featuring children about preschool aged. Picanco said he deleted other child pornography.  

Back-To-Back Prison Stretches 

In line with his April 5 plea agreement, Robinson gave Picanco a 10-12 year sentence for the manufacture of child pornography and a 5-12 year sentence for distributing it. The punishments are to run consecutively, not concurrently, making Picanco’s maximum prison time 24 years.  

Robinson also applied a one-year sentence for the child endangerment charge, but that sentence is to happen concurrently with the others. Picanco received 112 days credit for the time he has already spent in jail.  

In exchange for Picanco’s guilty pleas of child exploitation and endangerment, Sweetwater County Attorney Chief Deputy Teresa Thybo agreed not to prosecute Picanco for sexually abusing the child. 

Sexual abuse charges in Wyoming pertain to actual sex acts with children, whereas child sexual exploitation charges usually refer to having or sharing child-sex images and videos. 

Robinson also ordered Picanco to pay $600 to the Wyoming Crime Victim’s Compensation fund.  

The $1,000 Picanco owed in public defender’s fees Robinson waived, finding he lacks the ability to pay that.

Clair McFarland can be reached at Clair@CowboyStateDaily.com.

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter