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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of North Dakota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 6, 2016

United Kingdom Man Sentenced for His Role in Child Exploitation

FARGO - U. S. Attorney Christopher C. Myers announced that on September 6, 2016, Simon William Riley, 21, Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom, was sentenced before Judge Ralph R. Erickson to 12 years in prison on one Count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, two Counts of Advertising Material Involving the Sexual Exploitation of Minors, and one Count of Receipt of Child Pornography. Judge Erickson also sentenced Riley to serve 10 years of supervised release and ordered Riley to pay $400 to the Crime Victims’ Fund.

This case came to the attention of law enforcement after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) notified members of the North Dakota Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force that a website on the Tor Network contained child pornographic images of a girl located in Fargo, North Dakota. Subsequently, ICAC Task Force members identified the 13-year-old victim who told law enforcement that she sent the sexually explicit images to another female via Kik Messenger. In reality, this "female" was Simon Riley, an adult male. After Riley obtained these images, he posted advertisements on the website found on the Tor Network. The advertisement contained a link to a file-sharing site where other Tor users could access the images depicting the victim. Law enforcement determined that the victim’s images were accessed on more than 20,000 occasions by Tor users located throughout the world.

Through further investigation, the ND Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Homeland Security Investigation agents identified Simon Riley in the United Kingdom as the individual responsible for posting the above-mentioned advertisements. Based upon information provided to them by the ND ICAC Task Force, the National Crime Agency in the United Kingdom executed a search warrant at Riley’s residence on September 10, 2015. Foreign law enforcement recovered evidence, including electronic media, at Riley’s residence which linked him to the user account that posted the advertisements on the Tor Network and which contained a link to a separate file-sharing site which contained the victim’s images. The forensic examination of the media recovered from his residence in the United Kingdom revealed hundreds of child victims, including a second 13-year-old victim from Fargo, North Dakota.

This case was investigated by the North Dakota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Department of Homeland Security - Homeland Security Investigations in Grand Forks, ND, as well as the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Fargo Police Department.

This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, Project Safe Childhood in conjunction with Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) help federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies enhance their investigative responses to offenders who use the Internet, online communications systems, or computer technology to sexually exploit children. The ICAC Program is a national network of 61 coordinated task forces engaging in proactive investigations, forensic investigations, and criminal prosecutions. Project Safe Childhood also helps to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
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Updated September 7, 2016