Skip to main content
Press Release

Port Charlotte Man Sentenced To More Than 4 Years In Federal Prison For Child Sexual Abuse Offenses

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

Fort Myers, Florida – U.S. District Judge Sheri Polster Chappell has sentenced Richard Welbourne (67, Port Charlotte) to 51 months in federal prison for possessing and accessing with intent to view images depicting the sexual abuse of children. Welbourne was also sentenced to 15 years of supervised release and ordered to register as a sex offender. Welbourne pleaded guilty on January 12, 2024.

According to court documents, from August 7, 2022, through November 15, 2022, Welbourne knowingly possessed and accessed with intent to view child sexual abuse material that he had searched for, downloaded, and viewed from the internet. 

In June of 2022, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received four cybertips from an Electronic Service Provider reporting that Welbourne was involved in the possession of child sexual abuse material (CSAM).    

On November 15, 2022, the FBI executed a search warrant at Welbourne’s residence in Port Charlotte, Florida and Welbourne’s computer was seized. In addition, agents spoke with Welbourne, who admitted that he would click on links that contained CSAM. Welbourne admitted that he would save the links to his “favorites” in the web browser so he could easily access the sites in the future. Welbourne said that he did not save any of the images or videos to his computer.  Welbourne also admitted that he had seen girls as young as 4 or 5 years old on the CSAM sites that he visited and to accessing the internet to view CSAM for approximately 20 years.    

A subsequent forensic examination of Welbourne’s computer revealed child sexual abuse material.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Fort Myers Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, which includes the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Yolande G. Viacava.

This is another case 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

Updated April 30, 2024

Project Safe Childhood