Possession of child pornography sends Billings man to prison
MISSOULA — A Billings man who admitted to possessing images and videos of child pornography was sentenced today to three years in prison, to be followed by 10 years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.
Robert Christopher Baenziger, 42, pleaded guilty in November 2021 to possession of child pornography.
U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen presided. Judge Christensen ordered $3,000 restitution. Baenziger was allowed to self-report to the Bureau of Prisons.
The government alleged in court documents that in February 2019, law enforcement was reviewing peer-to-peer platforms on the internet and observed a certain IP address, designed, in part, to provide for anonymous file sharing, requesting parts of files associated with child pornography. The system, by design, is complex and requires significant technical skill to operate. Law enforcement determined that Baenziger had requested the files of child pornography using this system. Officers served a search warrant on Baenziger’s residence and seized electronic media belonging to him. An examination of the electronic media located almost 500 images and four videos depicting child pornography on Baenziger’s computer hardware.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Zeno B. Baucus prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI.
This case was initiated under the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood initiative, which was launched in 2006 to combat the proliferation of technology-facilitated crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children. Through a network of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and advocacy organizations, Project Safe Childhood attempts to protect children by investigating and prosecuting offenders involved in child sexual exploitation. It is implemented through partnerships including the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The ICAC Task Force Program was created to assist state and local law enforcement agencies by enhancing their investigative response to technology facilitated crimes against children.