Twin Falls Man Pleads Guilty to Possession of Child Pornography
BOISE – Richard Roy Sexton, 73, of Twin Falls, Idaho pleaded guilty today in United States District Court to possession of child pornography, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.
According to the plea agreement, in August of 2015, agents with the United States Postal Inspectors Service (USPIS) and the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) contacted Sexton at his residence in Twin Falls, Idaho. Sexton admitted to downloading images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct from the internet, and gave permission for agents to seize and search his computer and an external hard drive which contained the images. In October of 2015, Sexton visited a Verizon Wireless store in Twin Falls seeking assistance with an electronic tablet. An employee of the store observed child pornography on the tablet, and contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). NCMEC provided the information to the USPIS and ICAC investigators, who again contacted Sexton, and obtained permission to seize the tablet. Agents later obtained a search warrant to search the tablet.
In his plea agreement, Sexton admitted to possessing at least 360 images and 40 videos containing images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct on his computer, external hard drive, and tablet. The sexually explicit images included images of prepubescent minors. The electronic devices also contained evidence that Sexton was searching for and accessing images of child pornography via the internet. NCMEC subsequently identified 332 images containing known, identifiable victims from 34 known series of child pornography.
Sentencing is set for January 10, 2017, before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill.
Possession of child pornography is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, a term of supervised release of not less than five years and up to life, and a $5,000 special assessment. As part of his plea, Sexton also agreed to forfeit the computer, external hard drive, and tablet used in the commission of the charged offense.
The case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspectors Service and the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), and 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 individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”