U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
January 18, 2012
British National Pleads Guilty in Rhode Island to
Downloading and Possessing Child Pornography
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A United Kingdom national pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence, R.I., today to downloading from the Internet and then storing approximately 5,800 images and videos of child pornography while living and working in Rhode Island. Paul N. Hutchinson, 28, of Barrington, R.I., faces between 5 to 30 years imprisonment; between 5 years to lifetime supervised release; and a fine of $500,000 when he is sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith on April 6, 2012.
Hutchinson’s guilty plea was announced by Peter F. Neronha, U.S. Attorney for the District of Rhode Island; Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of ICE Homeland Security Investigations in New England; and Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.
According to information presented to the court at the time of Hutchinson’s guilty plea, on August 1, 2010, an investigator with the Rhode Island State Police Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force noticed that a computer with an IP address coming back to the defendant’s home address was sharing files with file names which contained terms that are recognized by collectors and law enforcement alike to be images or videos of child pornography. Based in part on these observations, a Rhode Island state search warrant for the defendant’s residence was obtained and was executed on August 18, 2010. The search resulted in the seizure of a laptop computer and an external digital hard drive owned by Hutchinson.
Forensic audits of the computer and storage hard drive by agents from the ICAC and the Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section revealed approximately 5,800 images and videos of child pornography. The images and videos included prepubescent children, including infants, depicted in a wide variety of sexual activity and forced sexual encounters.
Hutchinson, who was arrested and taken into state custody at the time of the search of his home, was charged by way of a federal indictment in December 2010. The defendant, who had been free on bond while awaiting trial in federal court, is currently detained after self-surrendering to the U.S. Marshals Service on January 3, 2012, when his visa expired.
The case against Hutchinson is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Terrence P. Donnelly and Mary Rogers; and Trial Attorney Darcy Katzin of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
The Rhode Island State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is a Department of Justice grant-funded program administered by the Rhode Island State Police Computer Crimes Unit, and is comprised of detectives from the Rhode Island State Police and Providence, West Warwick, and Coventry, R.I. police departments; and an agent from ICE-Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The objective of the RI ICAC is to form strong working relationships between local, state and federal law enforcement in order to effectively and efficiently prevent, detect, investigate, and prosecute online child exploitation and child pornography crimes.