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Press Release

Chesterfield Man Convicted of Attempted Sex Trafficking of a Child

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

RICHMOND, Va. – A federal jury convicted a Chesterfield County man today on charges of attempted sex trafficking of a minor, receipt of child pornography, and possession of child pornography.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Richard Todd Haas, 48, attempted to use a prostitute he knew to help him obtain young girls to sexually molest and produce child pornography, which he then intended to sell for a profit. Haas first met the prostitute in 2012 on the now-defunct website, and they got together several times for sex that year. They lost touch but reconnected in May 2016, again through Backpage. The woman visited Haas at his Chesterfield home to provide sexual services, and during that visit, Haas shared with her his desire to have sex with children. Haas showed her child pornography on his laptop, and asked her if she had access to any young girls because they could produce child pornography together and make a lot of money. The woman feigned interest in the defendant’s proposal, but instead of actually participating in the plan, she notified the FBI.

Working in conjunction with FBI investigators, the woman stayed in contact with Haas via phone and text, and informed the defendant she had access to both an 8-year-old and 12-year-old girl living in Baltimore, Maryland. The woman obtained incriminating text messages and recorded conversations during which the defendant used evasive language about the plan and told the woman to refer to the age of the children as shoe sizes.

The FBI’s undercover investigation was cut short in August 2016, shortly after the last recorded call between the woman and Haas, when investigators received information that Haas had recently sexually molested an 11-year-old girl in Chesterfield. Federal investigators executed a search warrant on the defendant’s home and business on September 1, 2016, seizing among other things the defendant’s laptop. A forensic examination of the defendant’s laptop revealed more than 7,000 images and movies of child pornography involving child victims whose identities are known, as well as many more child pornography images and movies involving unidentified victims.

Haas faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years and a maximum possible punishment of life imprisonment when sentenced on December 6, 2018. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Adam S. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office, made the announcement after Senior U.S. District Judge Robert E. Payne accepted the verdict. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian R. Hood and Heather H. Mansfield are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:16-cr-139.


Joshua Stueve
Director of Communications

Updated October 2, 2018

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