Woodstock Man Charged With Producing And Collecting Child Pornography
Deirdre M. Daly, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that RYAN HARDING, 28, of Woodstock, was arrested today on a federal criminal complaint charging him with production, receipt, and possession of child pornography.
The criminal complaint alleges that, on October 14, 2013, HARDING drove a male child to a convenience store, accompanied the child into the store’s restroom, and then used his iPhone to take sexually explicit photographs of the child. The victim is autistic and was approximately 13 years old when the pictures were taken. The defendant had access to the child through his employment at an organization that provides services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
In addition, the complaint alleges that between July 16, 2013 and October 30, 2013, HARDING received and possessed other images and videos of child pornography that he downloaded from individuals via the Internet using a peer-to-peer file sharing program. Through a forensic examination of HARDING’s computer equipment, law enforcement officers found approximately 1,043 images and 144 videos of child pornography on HARDING’s laptop and thumb drive.
HARDING appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez in Hartford and was ordered detained.
If convicted of the charge of production of child pornography, HARDING faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years, a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years and a fine of up to $250,000. If convicted of the charge of receiving child pornography, HARDING faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years, a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000. If convicted of the charge of possession of child pornography, HARDING faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000. The penalties for the possession charge are enhanced because it is alleged that the defendant possessed depictions of prepubescent minors and minors under the age of 12.
Acting U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Connecticut State Police Computer Crimes Unit. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Neeraj N. Patel.
This prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, which is aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
To report cases of child exploitation, please visit www.cybertipline.com.
PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONTACT:
U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE