Manchester Man Sentenced to 180 Months for Child Pornography Crimes
CONCORD - Robert Severance, 61, of Manchester, was sentenced to 180 months in federal prison for distributing and possessing child pornography, Acting United States Attorney John J. Farley announced today.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on July 15, 2019, the Manchester Police Department (“MPD”) received a tip previously submitted to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children by the social media website Instagram. The tip reported that on June 6, 2019, a file uploaded to Instagram was identified as a Child Sexual Abuse Image. MPD investigators later determined that the Instagram account was associated with Severance, who was a registered sex offender in Manchester, New Hampshire.
MPD investigators spoke with Severance at his residence in Manchester on July 22, 2019. He voluntarily went to the MPD and consented to an interview. Severance admitted to creating the Instagram account and explained that he portrayed himself as a 15-year-old female in order to talk with other young females. He stated that he had a laptop at home and admitted to receiving thousands of pictures and/or videos of child pornography via email.
A search warrant executed at Severance’s home the following day resulted in the seizure of numerous electronic devices and other media items. Forensic review of all items seized from the defendant revealed thousands of images and over one hundred videos of child pornography.
Severance previously pleaded guilty on November 23, 2020. In addition to the prison sentence, Severance must spend 10 years on supervised release and pay a total of $9,000 in restitution to three victims.
“Child pornography crimes exploit innocent youngsters and cause immeasurable damage to their lives,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Farley. “This sentence reflects the seriousness of the defendant’s conduct and demonstrates the commitment of the law enforcement community to protecting children in the Granite State. As Mr. Severance has learned, those who engage in child pornography offenses in New Hampshire will face substantial consequences for their illegal conduct.”
"The dedicated men and women associated with the NH ICAC Task Force will continue to be vigilant and partner with hard working agencies like the Manchester Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Department of Justice in an effort to hold individuals accountable and keep our children safe,” said Lt. Eric Kinsman, Commander, NH ICAC Task Force. “For more information and tips about internet safety, please go to http://www.nhicac.org."
This matter was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the NH Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and the Manchester Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kasey Weiland.
In February 2006, the Department of Justice introduced Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.