Richard Anthony Reyna Densmore, a/k/a “Rabid,” Claims Affiliation With Sadistic Child Abuse And Extortion Network
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten today announced that a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Richard Anthony Reyna Densmore, 47, of Kaleva, with sexual exploitation of a child, conspiracy to sexually exploit a child, coercion and enticement, and possession of child pornography. Evidence introduced at the detention hearing alleged the defendant encouraged his victims to commit sadistic acts, i.e., acts of self-harm for the sexual gratification of the defendant.
“As the allegations in this case demonstrate, the online threats to our children and teenagers evolve and grow every day,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. “Perpetrators can reach kids anywhere, anytime, with devastating effects on our families and communities. My office will do everything in its power to stop this menace and I strongly urge parents, guardians, and anyone who uses a device to be aware and protect themselves.”
Based on evidence presented at a February 5, 2024 detention hearing, the government alleged that Densmore, under the username “Rabid,” was involved in creating a chat room on Discord called “Sewer.” One purpose of the “Sewer” server was to stream minors engaging in self-harm and sexually explicit conduct. One example of such self-harm content is “cutting” or “fansigning,” in which someone writes or cuts, into their skin, another’s online username. The government alleges that Densmore was involved in soliciting minors to engage in such conduct and kept related images and videos on his phones.
The sexual exploitation offenses each carry a sentence of between 15 and 30 years’ imprisonment. The coercion and enticement offense carries a sentence of 10 years to life in prison. Possession of child pornography carries a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment.
During the detention hearing, the government introduced evidence of Densmore’s affiliation with an online network called “764” and related subgroups. In September 2023, the FBI issued a public service announcement regarding these groups. According to the FBI, these groups target minors; particularly, marginalized children and children experiencing mental health challenges. Prospective members gain access to associated online platforms by livestreaming or uploading videos of minor victims engaging in self-harm and sexually explicit conduct, among other things. Group members use that content to extort additional self-harm and sexually explicit content from victims.
“We would like to thank the Manistee County Sheriff's Office and our partners on the FBI’s West Michigan Based Child Exploitation Task Force (WEBCHEX) for their efforts in working to stop further harm against our most vulnerable members of our society, our children,” said Special Agent in Charge Cheyvoryea Gibson of the FBI in Michigan. “The FBI encourages families and caregivers to have open and honest conversations with the young people in their life about online exploitation and related risks, including web-based predators, identity thieves, cyberbullies, sextortion, and more. To report online child sexual exploitation, please use the electronic Cyber Tip Line or call 1-800-843-5678. The Cyber Tip Line is operated by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in partnership with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies."
U.S. Attorney Mark Totten advised that parents should look for unexpected packages, as members of these abuse and extortion networks are known to send children razor blades, sexual devices, and other materials to use in creating online content. The FBI further advised the public to take a number of precautionary steps, including:
- Looking for fresh cuts, bruises, wounds, and scars in unusual patterns;
- Looking for sudden behavior and appearance changes;
- Being attentive to children wearing long sleeves or pants in unusual circumstances;
- Monitoring children’s online activity and discussing the risks of sharing information and content; and
- Running frequent online searches of family and children’s information to help identify and prevent the spread of personal information on the internet.
If you are worried about someone who might be self-harming or is at risk of suicide, please consult a health care professional or call 911 in the event of an immediate, life-threatening emergency.
The FBI is investigating this case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Townshend is prosecuting it.
The charges in an indictment are merely accusations, and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.