Former East Hampton Teacher Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison For Child Sexual Exploitation Offenses
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Securities Investigations (HSI) Boston, announced that RICHARD D. HENDRICKS, 32, of Ashford, was sentenced today by Senior United States District Judge Ellen Breen Burns in New Haven to 121 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for child sexual exploitation offenses. HENDRICKS was formerly employed as a computer teacher at the East Hampton Middle School in East Hampton, Conn.
“This solemn but important prosecution revealed that the defendant, a middle school teacher, paid for and viewed live webcasts showing the sexual abuse of children overseas, and voyeuristically photographed and videotaped female students in his classroom,” said U.S. Attorney Fein. “His criminal behavior represents an extreme violation of trust, which we at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, along with our law enforcement investigative partners, are committed to combatting.”
“The receipt and of possession of child pornography by a teacher is one of the most heartbreaking violations of trust imaginable,” said HSI Special Agent in Charge Foucart. “We have an obligation to ensure that individuals who hold positions of trust in our community are held accountable for their actions. Today’s sentence is a stern reminder about the consequences awaiting those who use the Internet to sexually exploit innocent children.”
According to court documents and statements made in court, a national HSI investigation revealed that HENDRICKS purchased Internet access to live sex shows involving minors from approximately October 2009 to April 2010. The abusive shows originated in the Philippines.
On June 6, 2011, HSI agents seized two laptop computers, one desktop computer and two external hard drives from HENDRICKS’s residence. Subsequent forensic evaluation revealed that HENDRICKS used his computer to receive numerous images and video files of child pornography, including images of children under the age of 12, and images portraying sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence.
Investigators also discovered numerous images and videos of HENDRICKS’ students at East Hampton Middle School. While many of the pictures were related to HENDRICKS’ duties as yearbook advisor, investigators discovered that HENDRICKS secretly took voyeuristic photos and videos of female students in his classroom. He also manipulated some of these images to enhance their visibility, and used a software program to attempt to visualize the private areas of clothed girls.
During the course of the investigation, parental notification was made when investigators identified children who HENDRICKS secretly photographed or video recorded. With parental consent, agents conducted dozens of forensic interviews of the children.
HENDRICKS has been detained since his arrest on June 9, 2011. On January 19, 2012, he pleaded guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography.
This matter was investigated Homeland Security Investigations, with the assistance of the Connecticut State Police and the East Hampton Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ray Miller and Deborah Slater.
This prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, which is aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
To report cases of child exploitation, please visit www.cybertipline.com.
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