Sacramento Man Indicted for Advertising and Distributing Child Pornography
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment today against Mark A. Richards, 48, of Sacramento, charging him with advertising and distributing child pornography, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
According to court documents, in January 2018, Richards allegedly made child pornography available over a peer-to-peer file sharing network and provided passwords to undercover officers who asked him for access to his files. On two occasions, January 7, 2018 and January 11, 2018, those undercover officers in locations outside California obtained child pornography from Richards.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew G. Morris is prosecuting the case.
Richards has been in custody since his arrest on February 14, 2018. If convicted, Richards faces a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in prison for advertising child pornography and 20 years in prison for each count of distributing child pornography, along with a $250,000 fine on each count. Any sentence, however, would 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. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
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.