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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 24, 2016

Pacifica Man Sentenced To Ten Years In Prison For Possession Of Child Pornography

SAN FRANCISCO – Robert Spence II was sentenced yesterday to ten years in prison for possession of child pornography, announced Acting United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson.

Spence, 66, of Pacifica, pleaded guilty on December 1, 2015, to one count of possession of pornography depicting minors under the age of 12 engaging in sexually explicit conduct.  According to his guilty plea, Spence acknowledged that, beginning no later than September 15, 2013, he communicated with individuals in the Philippines to obtain child pornography.  Papers filed by the government reveal that a search warrant executed by FBI agents and Pacifica Police Department officers at Spence’s home found more than 1,200 images and videos of child pornography, including images depicting the sexual abuse of children as young as three and four years old.  A federal grand jury indicted Spence on June 2, 2015, with possession of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(4)(B). 

The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Vince Chhabria, U.S. District Judge.  Judge Chhabria concluded that, because defendant had sustained prior convictions for sexual battery pursuant to California Penal Code § 243.4(a), he was subject to the mandatory minimum ten year term of imprisonment in 18 U.S.C. § 2252(b)(2).  Spence has been ordered to self-surrender to begin serving his sentence no later than May 5, 2016.  Judge Chhabria also imposed a seven year period of supervised release.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sheila A.G. Armbrust prosecuted the case with the assistance of Patricia Mahoney.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Pacifica Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678.

Updated March 24, 2016