SAN FRANCISCO – Richard Rood was sentenced today to 150 months in prison for possession of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Alex G. Tse and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge John Bennett. The sentence was handed down by the Honorable William H. Alsup, United States District Judge.
Rood, 74, of Eureka, pleaded guilty to the charge on September 4, 2018. According to the plea agreement, Rood admitted he used publicly available computers at the Humboldt County Library to locate, view, and save images and videos depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Rood saved the images and videos to his personal email accounts and he also emailed the images and videos to his cellular phone. Using email, Rood also traded images and videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct with others. He admitted that he possessed 230 images and 10 videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Some of the images and videos, Rood admitted, depicted sadistic or masochistic portrayals of minors as young as 5 years of age. Further, Rood admitted he obtained and sent images to minors by email.
A federal grand jury indicted Rood on May 31, 2018, charging him with one count each of distribution, receipt and possession of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C §§ 2252(a)(2) and 2252(a)(4)(B). Pursuant to his plea agreement, Rood pleaded guilty to the possession charge and the remaining charges were dismissed. The possession charge, in light of Rood’s history, carried a mandatory minimum sentence of 120 months in prison.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Alsup sentenced the defendant to a 10-year period of supervised release. Rood already is a registered sex offender. The defendant has been in custody since his arrest in July of 2018 and will begin serving his sentence immediately.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan U. Lee is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Kimberly Richardson. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.