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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

Friday, May 25, 2018

Former Child Psychologist Sentenced To 78 Months In Prison For Possession Of Child Pornography And Contempt Of Court

OAKLAND – Kenneth Allen Breslin was sentenced today to 78 months in prison for possessing child pornography and contempt of court, announced Acting United States Attorney Alex G. Tse and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Ryan L. Spradlin.  The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, U.S. District Judge, following the entry of a guilty plea on March 1, 2018.   

According to his guilty plea, Breslin, 69, of Berkeley, Calif., admitted to possessing well over 600 images and videos of child pornography on a variety of electronic devices at his former Lafayette residence and former psychology office in Orinda, including visual depictions of prepubescent children being subjected to sadistic conduct.  While released on bond in this case, Breslin, a former child psychologist, also admitted possessing over 300 images and videos of child pornography, with some files depicting prepubescent children being subjected to sadistic conduct. 

Further, Breslin admitted he willfully violated conditions of his pretrial release in this case.  As a condition of his release, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Corley ordered Breslin not to use a computer or access the internet.  Nevertheless, Breslin: repeatedly accessed the internet through an Apple iPhone 6; used a laptop computer to access and possess child pornography images and videos; and used a thumb drive to access and possess child pornography material.  Breslin was eventually detained pending trial in this case following his violations of pretrial release.  

“We applaud today’s sentence as a reflection of our work to seek justice and protect the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Tse.  “These cases would not succeed but for the cooperation of many of our law enforcement partners.  We are grateful to Homeland Security Investigations, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, and the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.”

“A lengthy prison sentence is appropriate for these crimes, which involve repeatedly and willfully violating the law,” said Special Agent in Charge Spradlin.  “What’s most disturbing about this particular case is that Breslin was in a position of public trust as a psychologist and had worked extensively with children in the past. HSI will do whatever it takes to continue investigating these types of crimes to hold people accountable for children being victimized here or abroad.”

On January 18, 2018, a federal grand jury returned a three-count superseding indictment charging Breslin with two counts of possession of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(4)(B), and one count of criminal contempt of court, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 401(3).  

In addition to the prison term, Judge Gonzalez Rogers ordered Breslin to serve a 5-year period of supervised release following his custodial sentence.  Breslin voluntarily agreed to pay restitution totaling $85,000 to 13 victims in this case, and agreed to deposit that money into the court’s registry prior to his guilty plea, so that the victims will receive the money even while Breslin is serving his sentence.  Further, as part of his release conditions, Judge Gonzalez Rogers ordered Breslin to register as a sex offender and participate in sex offender-specific treatment.  

Breslin has been in custody since he was remanded due to his pretrial release violations in September of 2017, and he will begin serving the sentence immediately.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christina McCall is prosecuting the case with assistance from Vanessa Quant.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by HSI, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, and the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Project Safe Childhood
Violent Crime
Updated May 30, 2018