Joshua Gessler, 41, an Arnold & Porter associate in the firm’s Northern Virginia office, has been charged with five counts of possession of child pornography and one count of production of child pornography.
According to a news release from the Fairfax County Police Department, the investigation began after the department received a report that a 15-year-old Centreville-area girl had run away from home. Through the course of the investigation, detectives discovered that Gessler reached out to the girl online. Gessler allegedly met the girl in person and took photos of her that the police department says were “of a sexual nature.” He later allegedly transmitted them electronically.
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.
According to a cached version of his online biography, which Arnold & Porter has since taken down, Gessler was a member of the corporate and securities practice and focused on mergers, acquisitions, asset purchases, joint ventures, private placements, capital markets transactions, and private equity and hedge fund formation and regulation matters. He earned his J.D. from the George Mason University School of Law in 2000. The biography says he was an adjunct professor at George Mason’s law school from 2007 until 2009 and taught securities law and regulation. He was not scheduled to return this fall.
An Arnold & Porter spokesperson declined to comment on the arrest.
Gessler is being represented by Peter Greenspun, a name partner at Greenspun, Shapiro, Davis & Leary in Fairfax. Greenspun did not return calls for comment.