YOUTH VOLUNTEER PLEADS GUILTY TO
FEDERAL CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGE
Defendant Admitted Distributing Images of Child Pornography Over the Internet
FORT WORTH, Texas — Derek M. Ripley, 27, of Fort Worth, Texas, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge John McBryde to an indictment charging one count of distributing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. Ripley, who has been in custody since his arrest in March 2011, faces a statutory sentence of not less than five years or more than 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and up to a lifetime of supervised release. Sentencing is set for August 26, 2011.
According to testimony presented at his detention hearing as well as documents filed in the case, Ripley volunteered his time working with the youth at Trinity Chapel Church on Southwest Boulevard in Benbrook, Texas. He admitted that in November 2010, he used the Internet to distribute three visual depictions of minor males engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
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 U.S. 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
FBI is investigating; Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex C. Lewis is in charge of the prosecution.