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Press Release

Repeat Offender Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Knowingly Possessing Visual Depictions of Children Engaging in Sexually Explicit Conduct

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — William Richter, 39, of Shasta County, was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison, plus 20 years of supervised release, for knowing possession of visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

Additionally, Richter was ordered to pay $3,000 in victim restitution and was sentenced to an additional four months in prison for violating the terms of his supervised release on his prior federal case.

According to court documents, Richter had been convicted of the same offense in 2013, and was on federal supervised release when he committed this new crime on July 23, 2020. On that date, Richter was pulled over for a traffic violation. A smart phone was discovered hidden in Richter’s driver’s seat cover. According to the terms of his supervised release, Richter was not allowed to use the internet or to possess a smart phone. Forensic analysis revealed that Richter possessed at least 51 explicit photographs and three videos of pre-pubescent minors on his phone, one of which depicted sexual abuse of an infant. The victims in the images came from locations outside of California, such as the Philippines, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Ecuador, Slovenia, Sweden, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Virginia, Florida, Tennessee, Utah, and Delaware. Richter had installed programs such as Kik messenger, VLC media player, the TOR browser, Yo Live, Telegram and Mega on his unauthorized phone, and accessed websites which likely hosted sexually explicit conduct.

This case is the product of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations and the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christina McCall is prosecuting the case.

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 Click on the “resources” tab for information about internet-safety education.

Updated July 13, 2022

Project Safe Childhood