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Press Release

San Rafael Resident Sentenced To Five Years In Prison For Receiving Child Pornography After Grooming Child In Texas Over Two-Year Period

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California

SAN FRANCISCO – Robert Haeuser was sentenced to 60 months in prison for soliciting and receiving child pornography from a child victim after grooming her over the internet, announced U.S. Attorney Ismail Ramsey and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Robert K. Tripp. The sentence was handed down by the Hon. Susan Illston, United States Senior District Judge.

Haeuser, 33, of San Rafael, pleaded guilty to the charge on December 2, 2022. In 2015, he began communicating with a victim he would learn was 11 years old through the chat function of a mobile game called “Dynasty Wars.” The victim lived with her parents in Houston while Haeuser lived in Marin County. By November of 2015, Haeuser knew his victim was not yet in high school, and by October of 2016, Hauser engaged in an exchange during which he acknowledged she was not older than 12 years old and that if the world were aware of their conversations, “I would be in jail.” Haeuser and the victim eventually switched their communications to email where Haeuser repeatedly asked the victim to produce sexually explicit images and videos of herself and to send them to him by email. His instructions included telling her to pose and masturbate for him. The victim complied with Haeuser’s directions. Haeuser and the victim exchanged approximately 20,760 emails and 13,600 text messages between July 15, 2015, and October 5, 2017. In total, the victim sent Haeuser at least 29 images and 4 videos depicting herself engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

On May 3, 2022, a federal grand jury indicted Haeuser, charging him with one count of receipt of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2252(a)(2) and (b)(1). Haeuser pleaded guilty to the charge.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Illston ordered Haeuser to serve ten years of supervised release—to begin after his prison term. Judge Illston ordered Haeuser to begin serving his prison term on August 25, 2023.

Assistant United States Attorneys Kevin Yeh and Leif Dautch are prosecuting the case with assistance from Mark DiCenzo. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI.

Updated June 6, 2023