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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Delaware

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 22, 2015

Registered Child Sex Offender Sentenced To 35 Years For Production And Distribution Of Child Pornography

WILMINGTON, Del. – Harry K. Roche, age 44, of Millsboro, Delaware, was sentenced yesterday to 35 years in prison for Production and Transportation of Child Pornography, in violation of federal law.  Roche also was sentenced to a lifetime of supervised release following his prison sentence.  He also will continue to be required to continue to register as a sex offender in any jurisdiction in which he lives, works, or attends school. 

Roche was previously convicted in Delaware of Dealing in Child Pornography and Possession of Child Pornography in 2003, which involved Roche producing sexually explicit images of children in his Magnolia, Delaware apartment.  In 1994, Roche had been convicted of sexual harassment of a minor boy.  At the time of the instant offense, Roche was registered as a sex offender as required by Delaware and federal law. 

 According to statements made and documents filed in court, Roche came to the attention of the Delaware Child Predator Task Force after it received a cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).  The cybertip reported that an AOL user, subsequently identified as Roche, had distributed files containing child pornography through an AOL server.         

On January 31, 2013, Delaware Child Predator Task Force officers executed a search warrant at Roche’s apartment, which was located above the Bluewater Grill restaurant, in Millsboro, Delaware.  Roche and a roommate were present for the search, during which officers seized numerous computers, cellular phones and external digital storage devices.  A subsequent forensic examination of that computer equipment revealed that Roche had collected and distributed hundreds of pictures and movies of child pornography, virtually all of which featured prepubescent boys engaged in sexual acts.  In a number of these images and movies, the child victims were bound, gagged or blindfolded as they were violently raped by adult males.

Also during the forensic examination of Roche’s iPhone, a forensic examiner discovered a series of photographs of Roche in the bedroom of his residence engaged in a sexual act with a young boy.  The Delaware Child Predator Task Force and the United States Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, worked together to identify the child victim, who resided in Delaware at the time.  Roche subsequently distributed the images that he had produced, along with other images of child pornography, to other child sex offenders. 

Following the sentencing hearing, United States Attorney Charles M. Oberly, III stated:  “Harry Roche is every child’s bogeyman and every parent’s worst nightmare.  Stealing a child’s innocence, along with the physical and emotional damage associated therewith, is deserving of a severe sentence, as mandated by law.  Harry Roche, hopefully, will never hurt another child as a result of today’s sentence.  To those who are engaging in similar behavior, we are coming after you.”

 “The safety of our children is of vital importance, and we do everything within our power to protect it,” said Abigail Layton, Commander of the Child Predator Task Force of the Delaware Department of Justice. “The link between those who possess child pornography and those who commit physical offenses against children is too strong to take lightly, and the Child Predator Task Force is proud to work with federal law enforcement officials to find these dangerous predators.”

“This criminal will be away from society for decades thanks to the collaborative efforts of HSI and local law enforcement,” said John Kelleghan, HSI Philadelphia special agent in charge. “Child predators can be assured we are focused and determined to flush them out and seek justice for the victims of their heinous crimes.”

This case is being investigated by the Delaware Child Predator Task Force and the United States Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Edward J. McAndrew.

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Updated July 14, 2015