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Press Release

New Bedford Man Sentenced to More Than Seven Years in Prison for Child Pornography Charges

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

BOSTON – A New Bedford man was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston for receiving and possessing over 1,500 files of child pornography.  

Robert David Austin, 43, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton to 87 months in prison and five years of supervised release. In May 2023, Austin pleaded guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

From approximately June 2019 until November 2021, Austin engaged with a number of groups on messaging applications through which child pornography is disseminated. Austin also possessed child pornography on two cell phones and a tablet. Approximately 1,252 images and 450 videos depicting child pornography were located across all three of the devices. Overall, the child pornography files depicted victims as young as infants through approximately 12 years old, with some files depicting bondage and vaginal and oral penetration of the victims.

Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy and Michael J. Krol, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys J. Mackenzie Duane, Meghan C. Cleary and Suzanne Sullivan Jacobus of the Criminal Division prosecuted the case. 

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. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated August 17, 2023

Project Safe Childhood