Jury Convicts Merced County Man of Possessing Child Pornography
FRESNO, Calif. — After an eight-day trial in Fresno, a federal jury found Roger Cha, 30, of Atwater, guilty today of one count of possession of child pornography, Acting United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to evidence presented at trial, on April 18, 2012, federal agents served a search warrant at Cha’s residence in Atwater to search for evidence of child pornography. Cha admitted to agents during the search that any child pornography found on the computer belonged to him, describing details of what they would find. A later forensics examination of the computer confirmed his admissions. The child pornography found on the computer included videos of children as young as four years old.
This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, and the Fresno Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force. ICAC is a federally and state-funded task force with agents from federal, state, and local agencies. The Fresno ICAC investigates online child exploitation crimes, including child pornography, enticement, and sex trafficking. Assistant United States Attorneys Mark J. McKeon and Jeffrey A. Spivak are prosecuting the case.
Cha is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii on December 12, 2016. Cha faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
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 the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about internet safety education.