Southington Man Charged with Possessing Millions of Child Sex Abuse Images | USAO-CT

Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and William S. Walker, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Boston, today announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven has returned an indictment charging RICHARD E. SMITH, 65, of Southington, with receipt and possession of child pornography.

The indictment was returned on March 29.  Smith appeared yesterday via videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert A. Richardson and pleaded not guilty to the charge.  Smith has been detained since his arrest on a criminal complaint on October 1, 2020.

As alleged in court documents, on October 1, 2020, HSI conducted a court-authorized search of Smith’s Southington residence.  At the time of the search, Smith’s computer was running and connected to a website dedicated to child pornography, and one of Smith’s four computer monitors displayed a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet containing numerous child pornography filenames and internet hyperlinks.  Investigators seized Smith’s computer and electronic devices.  Forensic analysis of the seized devices revealed millions of images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of children.

If convicted of the charges, Smith faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years.

Acting U.S. Attorney Boyle stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  Charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This matter is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations with the assistance of the Southington Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Doherty through the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, which is aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation.

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

To report cases of child exploitation, please visit www.cybertipline.com.

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