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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Prior Sex Offender from Albuquerque Facing Federal Child Pornography Charges

Prosecution Brought Under Project Safe Childhood

ALBUQUERQUE – This morning a U.S. Magistrate Judge sitting in Albuquerque, N.M., found probable cause to support a criminal complaint charging Randal Gordon Paul, 47, of Albuquerque, with federal child pornography charges.  Paul was detained pending trial.

Paul was arrested on Dec. 2, 2016, on a criminal complaint alleging that he possessed and distributed visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit activity from June 14, 2015 through Nov. 16, 2016, in Bernalillo County, N.M.  According to the criminal complaint, the investigation into Paul began in Nov. 2014, after an email address belonging to Paul, allegedly was used to register an account with a website known to show images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.  Further investigation revealed that Paul was a registered sex offender with two prior convictions: in 1996 for lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 and in 1998 for aggravated sexual abuse.  On Nov. 16, 2016, law enforcement searched Paul’s residence and allegedly found a computer containing a video and at least 30 images of child pornography. 

If convicted of the possession charge in the criminal complaint, Paul faces a statutory penalty of a mandatory minimum of ten years and a maximum of 20 years in prison.  If convicted of the distribution charge in the criminal complaint, Paul faces a statutory penalty of a mandatory minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 40 years in prison.  Paul faces enhanced penalties because of his status as a prior sex offender.  Charges in criminal complaints are merely accusations and criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI and the New Mexico Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Holland S. Kastrin is prosecuting the case as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and DOJ’s Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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 to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/.

Topic: 
Cyber Crime
Project Safe Childhood
Updated December 6, 2016