Joshua Gessler

Today brings bad news for Arnold & Porter — or maybe make that Arnold & Porno. If the allegations are true, the venerable Washington-based law firm has been employing a lawyer who made child pornography, starring a 15-year-old girl.

A 41-year-old associate in the Tysons Corner office of A&P, Joshua Gessler, has been charged with one count of producing child pornography and five counts of possession. The accusations, reported last night by NBC Washington, are on the lurid side.

Gessler connected online with a 15-year-old prostitute back in April, according to an affidavit in support of a search warrant, and offered her $200 to meet up — with the condition that she not be “camera shy” (i.e., that she be willing to be photographed).

Josh Gessler allegedly brought some equipment to their get-together. And we’re not talking about a camera and a tripod….

According to law enforcement allegations, Gessler is a fan of bondage gear: Velcro-style straps for the teen’s wrists and ankles, as well as a dog collar. WOOF.

Here’s how it all went down, as reported by NBC:

On April 22, a man who called himself “Jay” picked the teenager up near her Centreville home and took her to a wooded area where the sex acts were photographed, according to authorities. The girl later told police she was paid an extra $100 for allowing the photographs to be taken.

Three hundred dollars? Gessler graduated from George Mason Law in 2000, so he’s probably earning in the $250K-$300K range. And he’s a resident of McLean, Virginia — a tony town, home to law firm partners and Supreme Court justices. The teen could have charged him more.

How did this all come to light? The investigation began back in May of this year, as a search for a missing juvenile. The girl’s mother let investigators access the teen’s email account, which contained nine explicit photos that were allegedly traced back to Josh Gessler. Moral of the story: CHECK YOU (DAUGHTER’S) EMAIL.

Gessler works — or worked? — in the corporate and securities practice group of Arnold & Porter. In addition, from 2007 to 2009, he taught securities regulation as an adjunct professor at George Mason Law, his alma mater. (His faculty bio has been removed from the GMU website, but the cached version appears here.)

What’s Gessler’s employment status at Arnold & Porter? Unclear. Gessler declined to comment to NBC (which showed up to his house with a camera crew; see the video). Through a spokesperson, A&P declined to comment to ATL.

Gessler’s bio has been removed from the Arnold & Porter website, but we’ve posted the cached version below.

If you have information you’d like to share about Gessler, feel free to email us (subject line: “Joshua Gessler”).

UPDATE (1 PM): From one Arnold & Porter source:

[I had] no experience with him personally. He worked in NoVa, so I don’t think many others did either — Corp & Securities is extremely small as well. Word is he was a nice guy, or so it seemed.

Well, he certainly seems to like kids….

UPDATE (5:15 PM): The BLT has a story here, which contains some new information:

Gessler’s case has been set for trial on Sept. 9 in the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. Court officials said he was being prosecuted in juvenile court because the victim was a minor….

Gessler is being represented by Peter Greenspun, a name partner at Greenspun, Shapiro, Davis & Leary in Fairfax.

We’ll keep you posted on further developments.

UPDATE (9/16/10): Joshua Gessler has been arrested again on additional child pornography charges.

UPDATE (7/15/11): Joshua Gessler pleaded guilty “to six sexual offenses involving a 15-year-old Centreville girl.” He was subsequently stripped of his law license (but avoided prison time).

Va. Lawyer Accused of Producing Child Porn [NBC Washington]



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