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Justice News

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

Friday, July 25, 2014

Former School Teacher Sentenced To More Than Eight Years In Prison On Child Pornography Charges

OAKLAND – Russell Patrick Pfiester was sentenced yesterday to 97 months in prison for receipt of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag and Nick Annan, Acting Special Agent in Charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in San Francisco.

Pfiester pleaded guilty on Feb. 6, 2014, to receipt of child pornography. According to the plea agreement, Pfiester admitted to receiving at least 100 videos through the Internet using a peer-to-peer file sharing network. The videos showed children, including prepubescent children, engaged in sexually explicit conduct, with some videos depicting sadomasochistic conduct.

Pfiester, 44, formerly of Fremont, Calif., was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 9, 2013. He was charged with receiving and possessing child pornography.

The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, United States District Court Judge, in Oakland. In rejecting Pfiester’s request for a lower sentence, Judge Gonzalez Rogers stressed the need to protect the public and noted, among other things, Pfiester’s previous employment as a school teacher. Judge Gonzalez Rogers also sentenced the defendant to a 10-year period of supervised release, during which time, Pfiester will be prohibited from being near any location where children are likely to gather. The defendant has been in custody since his Feb. 6, 2014, guilty plea.

Andrew Huang is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Vanessa Quant. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by HSI.

(Pfiester indictment )



Updated November 18, 2014