News and Press Releases

Former UNLV Music Professor Sentenced to 5 Years in Federal Prison for Child Pornography Offense

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 17, 2007

Las Vegas, Nev. – A former music professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) was sentenced today to five years in federal prison, a $12,500 fine, and lifetime supervised release, for his guilty plea to receiving, viewing, and storing child pornography on his UNLV work computer, announced Steven W. Myhre, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

Richard Soule, age 61, of Las Vegas, pleaded guilty in January to one count of Receipt of Child Pornography. Soule used his UNLV work computer to download over 10,000 images of child pornography, including images depicting toddlers and infants. His sentence was enhanced under the federal sentencing guidelines because there were over 500 images, and some of the images involved prepubescent minors or minors under the age of 12.

Soule visited websites that featured downloadable, password-protected images of naked children. Soule viewed and downloaded the image files, and then organized and stored them on portable computer (flash) drives and "zip" disks that he kept in his office at the University. After he transferred the images to the portable drives, he removed the images from the University system's computer hard drive.

Soule's conduct was discovered in June 2006, when a UNLV Information Technologies (IT) Specialist discovered the images on the University's computer system and traced their origins to Soule's computer. The IT Specialist monitored Soule's visits to child pornography sites and then reported Soule to UNLV campus police. In September 2006, UNLV police obtained a search warrant for Soule's computer and storage devices. A computer forensics examiner later found over 10,000 images of child pornography on the equipment.

Soule's guilty plea includes an agreement that he forfeit of all of his computer equipment and files containing information of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

Mr. Soule must self-report to federal prison by June 18, 2007.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.

This case was investigated by the Nevada Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. Its members include the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and FBI. ICAC Task Forces are federally funded through the U.S. Department of Justice and are designed to help state and local law enforcement agencies develop an effective response to cyber enticement and child pornography cases. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nancy J. Koppe.

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