FORMER YOUTH VOLUNTEER SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR DISTRIBUTING IMAGES OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY OVER THE INTERNET
FORT WORTH, Texas — Derek M. Ripley, 27, of Fort Worth, Texas, who pleaded guilty in May 2011 to an indictment charging one count of distributing child pornography, was sentenced this morning by U.S. District Judge John McBryde to 120 months in prison, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. In addition, Judge McBryde ordered that Ripley, who has been in custody since his arrest in March 2011, serve a lifetime of supervised release.
According to testimony presented at his detention hearing as well as documents filed in the case, Ripley volunteered his time working with 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 http://www.justice.gov/psc.
The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex C. Lewis.
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