August 24, 2010 - 05:51 pm
A McLean lawyer and father is charged with manufacturing child pornography. Joshua Gessler, 41, is accused of luring a Centreville runaway into posing for him. Gessler is charged with enticing the 15-year-old girl to get naked and take up sexually provocative poses.
His McLean neighbors are shocked and reluctant to believe he is a calculating child pornographer.
Neighbor Joan Bretz told us, "He bakes the most wonderful pies I have ever tasted in my life."
Investigators say he takes some shocking pictures as well. Allegedly, the photographs of the girl fall into the category of pornography. One of his next door neighbors say he couldn't have taken the photos there.
"This is an extremely well monitored place you are looking at, this little enclave," said Bretz. "He would have to have rolled her up in a rug."
In the McLean neighborhood with an abundance of children, some neighbors are sceptical about the accusation but others stunned.
One neighbor said, "He's very friendly, sociable, pleasant. My children go to school with his children. I'm shocked to know that he would do something like this."
Those in the fight against the sexual abuse of children say Gessler is typical. He allegedly prowled social websites, and found the 15-year-old Centreville runaway there.
Ernie Allen with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children stated, "They tend to be ordinary people doing ordinary things but with the Internet you can suddenly be anybody you want."
On his employer's website it states "Joshua Gessler is...in Arnold and Porter Corporate Securities Practice Group". It goes on to say "Mr. Gessler is an adjunct professor at George Mason University School of Law." He also is a family man, wife and two little kids.
"I'm shocked and I'm sickened. My children play with his children here in the courtyard ... I'm horrified. I don't know what else to say," said one neighbor.
The investigation is ongoing but detectives say they do not believe Gessler will face charges for having sexual contact with the girl.
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