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Press Release

Spearfish Man Indicted On Child Pornography Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Dakota

United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a Spearfish, South Dakota, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Production of Child Pornography Transported to the United States, Travel with Intent to Engage in Sexual Activity, and Possession of Child Pornography.

Richard William Melanson, age 51, was indicted on April 8, 2014.  He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy on May 1, 2014, and pled not guilty to the Indictment.  

The penalty upon conviction is not less than 15 years and up to 30 years’ imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine, up to life of supervised release, and a $100 assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.  Restitution may also be ordered.

The Indictment charges that between January 2008 and June 2011, Melanson knowingly possessed computer files that contained child pornography images, induced a minor outside of the United States to produce a pornographic image, and traveled to Guatemala to engage in sexual acts with minors.

The charges are merely accusations and Melanson is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The investigation is being conducted by the South Dakota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah B. Collins is prosecuting the case.  

Melanson was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.  A trial date has not been set.                        

Updated June 22, 2015