WASHINGTON – A Virginia man pleaded guilty today to charges related to his possession and distribution of images containing child pornography, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy for the Western District of Virginia.
Gary Lee Rimmer, 55, was indicted in June 2010 and charged with one count of possession of child pornography and one count of distribution of child pornography. The defendant pleaded guilty to both counts in U.S. District Court of the Western District of Virginia.
At the plea hearing, Rimmer admitted that while living in Greene County, Va., in 2006, he started an online relationship with a 13-year-old girl from Florida. Throughout their internet conversations and subsequent cellular phone conversations, Rimmer portrayed himself as a 20-year-old man named "Jason." The defendant posted images of a young man and claimed they were of himself. Rimmer had conversations with the girl, whom he ultimately learned was under the age of 16, about starting a sexual relationship. Rimmer mailed the victim sexual items and sent her sexual images via the Internet. When investigators searched the contents of Rimmer’s computer, they found images of child pornography, including images of the victim from Florida with the items he previously mailed to her. Search terms associated with child pornography were also found on the defendant’s computer. A forensic examination of Rimmer’s computer also revealed that he distributed child pornography to a person outside of Virginia during a chat session using Yahoo Messenger.
At sentencing, scheduled for Nov. 1, 2010, the defendant faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for the distribution count and 10 years in prison for the possession count. Each count carries a maximum fine of up to $250,000.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
This case is being prosecuted by CEOS Trial Attorney James Silver and Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy S. Healey of the Western District of Virginia. This case was investigated by the High Tech Investigative Unit of CEOS, the Virginia State Police and the Citrus County Florida Sheriff’s Department.