U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
September 28, 2009
Seven-year prison sentence, life-time supervision
for child pornography trader
A federal judge has sentenced Brian Murphy, 39, formerly of Providence, to seven years in prison for distributing child pornography over the Internet. As part of an investigation that began in Switzerland, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Rhode Island State Police, and Providence Police in 2007 seized computer equipment containing thousands of child pornography images from Murphy’s apartment.
U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha announced the sentence, which U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith imposed on September 25 in U.S. District Court, Providence. After he is released from prison, Murphy will be subject to court supervision for life. Judge Smith restricted Murphy’s access to computers and the Internet, as well as his contact with minors. Murphy will also have to register as a sex offender.
In May, Murphy pleaded guilty to distributing child pornography. At the plea hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Terrence P. Donnelly said the government could prove that Murphy sent child pornography over the Internet through chat rooms.
In July 2006, Swiss Federal Police investigating a child pornography trader came across a subject using the name “bidaddy69.” After additional investigation, Swiss authorities referred the matter to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which in turn notified Rhode Island State Police.
Investigators traced bidaddy69's Internet protocol address to Murphy’s residence on Home Avenue in Providence, and in April 2007, agents and detectives executed a search warrant there. They seized two computers and disks containing still and video images of prepubescent children engaged in sex acts.
Subsequent forensic analysis showed that, using a program called Google Hello, Murphy had been trading child pornography with about 70 other individuals and that they had graphically discussed the images in Internet chats. Murphy possessed thousands of still images and hundreds of videos depicting child pornography.
Judge Smith ordered Murphy into custody immediately after sentencing. He had been free on bond.
The case was investigated and prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a Department of Justice initiative against Internet-based exploitation of children.