News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

Crystal man charged with possessing child pornography

April 19, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS—Yesterday in federal court, a 59-year-old Crystal man was charged with possessing approximately 8,000 images of child pornography. On April 17, 2013, James Richard Darling was charged via an Information with one count of possession of child pornography.

On September 22, 2009, Darling allegedly possessed numerous visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct on his computer.

If convicted, Darling faces a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison, with a mandatory minimum penalty of ten years. Any sentence would be determined by a federal district court judge.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Minnesota Child Exploitation Task Force, sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lola Velazquez-Aguilu.

Possession of child pornography is against the law. In addition to prosecuting these cases, the Justice Department is funding a study focused on the correlation between involvement in child pornography and hands-on sexual abuse of children. A 2008 study (The Butner Study) published in the Journal of Family Violence found that up to 80 percent of federal inmates incarcerated for possession, receipt, or distribution of child pornography also admitted to hands-on sexual abuse of children, ranging from touching to rape.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (“PSC”), a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney offices and the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and identify and rescue victims. For more information about PSC, please visit For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab “resources.”

A defendant, of course, is presumed innocent until he or she pleads guilty or is proven guilty at trial.

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