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Justice News

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

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Idaho Falls Man Sentenced to Over 16 Years for Sexual Exploitation of Children

POCATELLO - Richard Neils Dutton, 52, of Idaho Falls, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 200 months in federal prison for sexual exploitation of children, Acting U.S. Attorney Rafael M. Gonzalez, Jr. announced today. U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also ordered Dutton serve the remainder of his life on supervised release, following his prison sentence. Dutton pleaded guilty to the charge on November 4, 2020.

“Perpetrators who exploit our children prey upon the most vulnerable members in our society,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Gonzalez. “The collaboration between local, state, and federal partners in this case shows our joint commitment to protecting children and holding predators accountable to the full extent of the law.”

According to court records, in January 2020, staff at a local elementary school reported that Dutton was sexually abusing minor aged children. A subsequent investigation discovered that Dutton had produced child pornography using a minor child. Investigators obtained a search warrant for Dutton’s electronic devices and discovered images of the sexual abuse taken on his phone. In court, Dutton admitted that he took the images.

“Crimes of this nature are particularly disturbing, and dangerous sexual predators will continue to be brought to justice through our partnerships with all levels of law enforcement,” said Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer, who oversees HSI operations in the Pacific Northwest. “This sentencing shows our collective resolve in keeping our communities safe.”

As a result of his conviction, Dutton will be required to register as a sex offender.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations in Idaho Falls, Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and Idaho Falls Police Department.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. As part of Project Safe Childhood, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho and the Idaho Attorney General’s Office partner to marshal federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

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Project Safe Childhood
CASSIE FULGHUM Public Information Officer (208) 334-1211
Updated April 15, 2021