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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Arkansas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Two Northwest Arkansas Sex Offenders Sentenced to Combined 60 Years for Child Pornography

            Fayetteville, Arkansas - Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Ronald John Griffin, age 47, of Huntsville, Arkansas, and Harry Robinson, age 51, of Springdale, Arkansas, were sentenced today to a combined total of 60 years in federal prison for unrelated sexual crimes involving minors.  Griffin was sentenced to 20 years in prison without parole followed by 20 years of supervised release on one count of Distribution of Child Pornography.  Robinson was sentenced to 40 years in prison without parole followed by a lifetime of supervised release on one count of Production of Child Pornography.  The Honorable Timothy L. Brooks presided over the sentencing hearings in the United States District Court in Fayetteville.

            U.S. Attorney Eldridge commented, “Our office is focused on prosecuting individuals that abuse children, create pornography from that abuse, and traffic in images of these children.  Such conduct is horrific, despicable, and reprehensible.  As a result of their abhorrent conduct in these cases, these two individuals are going off to prison for a very long time, as well they should.”

            "These investigations highlight the continued successful partnership between HSI, the Springdale Police Department, and state and local members of the Arkansas Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force," said Cindy M. Johnson, acting special agent in charge of HSI New Orleans. "Identifying and investigating those who prey on innocent children via the Internet will continue to be one of HSI's highest priorities."

            Ronald Griffin:  According to court records, on January 1, 2015, Griffin contacted an undercover investigator with the Queensland Australia Police Service.  Griffin then engaged the undercover officer in sexually explicit conversation, and subsequently emailed the undercover officer multiple images of child pornography. Among the images emailed by Griffin were two videos of a two-year-old child being sexually assaulted by an adult male.  This information was sent to Homeland Security Investigations in Northwest Arkansas.  On January 5, 2015, Homeland Security Agents executed a search warrant at the Madison County residence of Ronald Griffin, and at that time, Griffin admitted to setting up and utilizing the suspected email account which had been used to email the images of child pornography to the undercover investigator.  In April of this year, Griffin pleaded guilty to distributing child pornography. At sentencing, the Government presented the Court with evidence that at the time of this offense, Griffin was required to register as a sex offender due to a previous state conviction related to Possessing Child Pornography.

            Harry Robinson:  According to court records, in October, 2014, the Springdale Police Department began investigating Robinson for secretly video-recording a minor while she showered.  During the investigation, the Springdale Police department executed a search warrant on Robinson’s home.  While executing the search warrant, officers confiscated an Olympus Digital Camera and a PNY brand flash drive.  During a subsequent forensic examination of the flash drive, law enforcement discovered multiple nude images of minor females that were taken by Robinson at his residence. The images included minors from eight (8) years of age to approximately 14 years of age. At the time of this offense, Robinson was required to register as a sex offender due to a previous state conviction for Sexual Misconduct involving a minor.

            These cases were investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Springdale Police Department, and the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force of Northwest Arkansas.  Assistant United States Attorney Dustin Roberts prosecuted the cases for the United States.

            The cases were brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and their Criminal Division Child Exploitation and Obscenity Sections (CEOS), 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, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

 

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            Related court documents may be found on the Public Access to Electronic Records website @ www.pacer.gov

Updated July 16, 2015