News and Press Releases

Former Referee Sentenced to 121 Months for Attempted Enticement of a Minor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 9, 2010

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Richard L. Rockett, Jr., 45, of Alexandria, Va., was sentenced to 121 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for attempting to entice a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity.
           
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Earl Cook, Alexandria Chief of Police; and Shawn Henry, Assistant Director in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Washington Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Anthony J. Trenga.

“Sexual exploitation of a child is extremely disturbing, especially when attempted by an adult who holds a position of trust,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “Today’s sentence sends a strong message: The United States will protect children and hold online sexual predators accountable.” 

“Children are our most precious resource, and we will do everything we can to protect them,” said FBI ADIC Henry. “This undercover investigation should serve to remind those who seek to entice minors that we will come after you, and we will find you.”

            Rockett was convicted after a bench trial on April 21, 2010. According to court records and evidence at trial, on July 28, 2009, Rockett met someone in an Internet chat room that he thought was a 13-year old female – and who was in reality an undercover Alexandria detective.  He engaged in Internet and cellphone discussions with the alleged minor girl, including arranging to meet her for sex.  On Sept. 16, 2009, Rockett went to a hotel and brought sex paraphernalia to meet the underage girl, who had then purportedly turned 14-years old.  He was arrested after knocking on the hotel room door.  Rockett was formerly employed as a volleyball referee and coach. 

            This case was investigated by the Alexandria Police Department in cooperation with the FBI and its Child Exploitation Task Force.  Assistant United States Attorneys Tracy Doherty-McCormick and Jay Prabhu prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

            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.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/vae.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.uspci.uscourts.gov.

 

 

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