BOSTON - A Haverhill man was sentenced late yesterday in federal court for possession of child pornography.
Mark E. Rita, 44, was sentenced by U.S. District Chief Judge Mark L. Wolf to five years probation ordered to pay $15,000 in restitution to one of the victims depicted in his collection of child sexual abuse images.
Had the case proceeded to trial, the Government’s evidence would have proven that an undercover agent downloaded child pornography offered online by Rita, an employee of an IBM office in Littleton. Rita’s files included pictures of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct, including sadistic and masochistic abuse. He received and shared child pornography through peer-to-peer software, and regularly used “wiping” software to eliminate evidence of his online activity. After a search warrant was executed at his home, Rita stated that he viewed adult and child pornography during the day when his wife and children were not home. Examination of Rita’s computer media revealed hundreds of images of child pornography cached on the computer.
United States Attorney Carmen Ortiz and Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Boston made the announcement. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael I. Yoon of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit and Trial Attorney Thomas Franzinger of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS).
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.