BOSTON - A Westfield man was charged today in federal court with possession of material involving the sexual exploitation of a minor.
Richard Starr, 56, was charged in United States District Court in an Information with one count of possession of material involving the sexual exploitation of minors. Starr has agreed to plead guilty pursuant to a written plea agreement that was also filed today.
The Information supersedes an earlier Complaint that charged the same offense. According to the Complaint, Starr had admitted to federal agents that he purchased memberships at child pornography-related web sites and downloaded images and videos from these sites. When agents asked Starr for consent to search the computers in his residence for child pornography, he told them that “chances are you’ll find something.” Starr subsequently declined to consent to search his residence. Based on Starr’s admissions and responses during the interview, the agents contacted the Westfield Police Department, which obtained a search warrant for the residence and seized multiple computers and computer media. Federal investigators subsequently conducted a forensic examination of the computer and discovered tens of thousands of digital image and video files depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Most of the files were located in a password-protected user directory and many of these files were located in folders that contained suggestive or explicit titles, such as “Sweet Girlies” and “Preteen Heaven.”
Starr faces up to 10 years in prison, to be followed by mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum lifetime of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation - Boston Field Division made the announcement today. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Westfield Police Department, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven H. Breslow of Ortiz’s Springfield Branch Office.