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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

Friday, May 6, 2016

Army Colonel Convicted Of Possession And Distribution Of Child Pornography

HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Robert J. Rice, age 58, Carlisle, a Colonel in the U.S. Army stationed at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, was convicted of possession and receipt and distribution of child pornography over the internet. The five-day trial was held before U.S. District Court Chief Judge Christopher C. Conner in Harrisburg.

According to U.S. Attorney Peter Smith, the jury returned with the verdict of guilty after approximately two hours of deliberation.  The jury found that Rice knowingly possessed child pornography from August 2010 through January 29, 2013, and that he received and distributed child pornography through the internet from January 23, 2013 through January 28, 2013.

Chief Judge Conner has scheduled sentencing for August 12, 2016.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys James T. Clancy and Chelsea B. Schinnour.

The charges stemmed from an investigation by the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office with assistance from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).   

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The maximum penalty under federal law is 30 years’ imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

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Project Safe Childhood
Updated May 6, 2016