Sex Offender Who Possessed Millions of Child Sex Abuse Images and Videos Pleads Guilty

Sex Offender Who Possessed Millions of Child Sex Abuse Images and Videos Pleads Guilty

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that RICHARD E. SMITH, 67, of Southington, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer in New Haven to possession of child pornography.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Smith’s criminal history includes convictions related to his sexual assault of boys in 1990 and 1998.

On October 1, 2020, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents 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.

Smith has been detained since his arrest on October 1, 2020.

Judge Meyer scheduled sentencing for February 17, 2023, at which time Smith faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.  The penalties in this case are enhanced based on Smith’s criminal history.

This matter has been investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with the assistance of the Southington Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick J. Doherty and Nancy V. Gifford 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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