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LOS ANGELES – A former resident of Ventura County was sentenced today to 235 months in federal prison for using Instagram to entice a 10-year-old girl into sending him sexually explicit images of herself.
Barry Bryant Rossman, 63, a.k.a. “Ben,” formerly of Oxnard and Santa Rosa, was sentenced by United States District Judge Stanley Blumenfeld Jr., who also placed Rossman on lifetime supervised release and ordered him to pay $427.50 in restitution.
At today’s hearing, Judge Blumenfeld said Rossman’s actions were “clearly planned, clearly sophisticated, and clearly manipulative” and he committed his crimes “knowing that he was elevating his own base needs above the most vulnerable people in society: children.”
Rossman pleaded guilty on May 24 – on what was supposed to be the first day of his trial – to one count of production of child pornography, one count of enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity, and one count of receipt of child pornography.
In late December 2019 and early January 2020, Rossman, then 60 years old, posed as “Ben,” purportedly a 21-year-old man, and used the Instagram account “itsben6969” to contact the victim – a 10-year-old girl in Colorado. When Rossman first contacted the victim, he pretended to have a 13-year-old brother who had mischievously taken his phone and reached out to the victim.
Rossman engaged in conversation with the victim, using flattery and discussing topics such as Christmas gifts. Over the following days, Rossman’s conversations with the victim became increasingly sexually explicit, and Rossman convinced the victim to send him sexually exploitative photographs of herself.
After Rossman and the victim exchanged photographs, videos, and messages, Rossman instructed the victim to delete her messages, claiming that his little brother might get into his Instagram account and Rossman did not want his little brother “loving” the photos like he did. Shortly thereafter, the victim’s mother discovered the messages on her daughter’s phone and called the police.
In May 2020, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Rossman’s residence in Oxnard and found evidence linking his iPhone to the Instagram account used to contact the victim. A federal search warrant affidavit on Rossman’s “itsben6969” Instagram account revealed that Rossman used the account to contact at least hundreds of minors and used the same ruse that he used with the 10-year-old victim approximately 1,633 times, sometimes translating it into other languages.
“For his sexual gratification…Rossman lied to, groomed, and manipulated children to engage in sex acts they were far too young to even understand,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “The wreckage [Rossman] leaves in his wake for even one family aptly speaks to the severity of this offense and the public threat it poses in an Internet-reliant era.”
The FBI and the Erie (Colorado) Police Department investigated this matter.
Assistant United States Attorneys Chelsea Norell and Kathy Yu of the Violent and Organized Crime Section prosecuted this case.
Public Information Officer