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August 16, 2012

Department of Justice

United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee

Knoxville Resident Michael Rivera Sentenced To 97 Months In Prison For Receipt Of Child Pornography

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.--Michael Rivera, 33, of Knoxville, Tenn., was sentenced on August 15, 2012, by the Honorable Thomas W. Phillips, U.S. District Judge, to serve 97 months in prison. Rivera was indicted in January 2011 and pleaded guilty in November 2011, to knowingly receiving child pornography that had been transported in interstate and foreign commerce by any means, including by computer.

In addition to his prison sentence, Rivera was ordered to serve five years supervised release upon his release from prison, participate in a program of sex offender mental health treatment, and pay $3,000 in restitution to one of the victims whose images he had received via the Internet. Also, as a result of the conviction, the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act will require Rivera to register following his incarceration with the state sex offender registry anywhere he resides, is employed, or is a student.

Rivera’s child pornography activities were discovered by the Knoxville Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC). A forensic examination of his computer revealed that he had received and saved 414 videos depicting child pornography, including depictions of sadistic conduct involving children and pornographic images of prepubescent children. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Morris represented the United States in this case.

U.S. Attorney Bill Killian stated, “Child pornography is an insidious evil in our community and around the world. The victims of these terrible crimes are deeply scarred for life and are repeatedly victimized every time someone looks at the depictions of the child’s abuse over the Internet. This prosecution and significant jail sentence send a message that the Department of Justice is committed to protecting our children and this type of behavior will not be tolerated.”

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources.”

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