News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

Red Wing man pleads guilty to receiving child pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 6, 2012


MINNEAPOLIS – Earlier today in federal court, a 42-year-old Red Wing man pleaded
guilty to receiving child pornography and admitted that he possessed at least 14,000 images of
child pornography. Ronald Lee Rainwater pleaded guilty to one count of receipt of child
pornography. Rainwater, who was indicted on May 18, 2011, entered his plea before United
States District Court Judge David S. Doty.

In his plea agreement, Rainwater admitted that on or about January 4, 2009, he received a
visual depiction involving a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. In addition, Rainwater
admitted possessing at least 14,000 photographs and approximately 2,600 videos containing
similar depictions. The images and videos also included sadistic or masochistic material. The
items were found on Rainwater’s computer and external hard drive, both of which were seized
from the bedroom of his residence during the execution of a search warrant on August 12, 2009.
U.S. authorities were notified by the German Federal Police about Rainwater while investigating
a file-sharing website.

For his crime, Rainwater faces a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, with a
mandatory minimum penalty of five years. Judge Doty will determine his sentence at a future
hearing. This case is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, with assistance from the German Federal
Police. It is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Colin P. Johnson and Assistant
U.S. Attorney Kimberly A. Svendsen.

Presently, the Justice Department is funding a study concerning the correlation between
involvement in child pornography and the 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.

The U.S. Department of Justice is committed to combating the sexual exploitation of
children, particularly via the Internet. In Fiscal Year 2010, 2,235 defendants pleaded guilty to
federal child pornography charges, 2,222 of whom were sentenced to prison. In Fiscal Year
2009, 2,083 defendants were sentenced to prison on child pornography charges. For more
information about these efforts, please visit the Department’s Project Safe Childhood website,
at www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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