Conway Man Pleads Guilty to Porn Charges
Contact Person: Beth Drake (803) 929-3000
Columbia, South Carolina -----United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Richard Rau, age 67, of Conway, South Carolina, entered a guilty plea in federal court in Florence, to possession of child pornography, violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252A(1)(5)(B). United States District Judge R. Bryan Harwell of Florence accepted the plea and will impose sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that Homeland Security Investigations discovered an image hosting website being used by Rau in which he was making suggestive comments concerning a minor female and comments which indicated Rau was exchanging child pornography with others. A search warrant was obtained for Rau’s Yahoo! email address which revealed multiple email exchanges of child pornography. A search was subsequently conducted of Rau’s residence and an iPhone and computers were seized which contained child pornography.
Mr. Nettles stated the maximum penalty Rau can receive is a fine of $250,000.00 and/or imprisonment for 10 years, plus a special assessment of $100.00.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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 to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov
The case was investigated by agents of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant United States Attorney William E. Day, II, of the Florence office handled the case.