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Ellenwood man charged with child porn

By Kathy Jefcoats

kjefcoats@news-daily.com

ATLANTA — Federal prosecutors have indicted an Ellenwood man for possession and receipt of child pornography, said officials.

David Rice, 51, has been released on bond. U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said he faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000 if convicted of receiving child pornography. The possession charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The charges carry no less than five years to a lifetime of supervised release, she said. If convicted, Rice will be required to register as a sex offender. In determining the actual sentence, the court will consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders, said Yates.

Yates said her office is dedicated to protecting children from predators.

“The possession and receipt of child pornography attempt to normalize the exploitation of children,” she said. “It not only harms the minor victims portrayed in those images, it fuels a heinous market. We will protect children, so individuals in our district interested in acquiring and using these images need to understand that we will prosecute them.”

Yates said the investigation revealed that Rice possessed about 950 files of known or suspected child pornography at his home in April and May 2012. Those files alleged included images of minor girls being molested by adult males.

"In June 2012, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Rice’s home," she said. "Agents seized his home computer during that search, which contained numerous images of child pornography."

Brock D. Nicholson, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Atlanta, said authorities will work to see that justice is done for the alleged victims.

“The child pornography cases we investigate reveal the disturbing and sobering truth that some adults will go to great lengths to sexually exploit children,” he said. “While we cannot give back the innocence that's been stolen from these children, we can make sure that those who commit these horrible crimes are brought to justice.”

Yates said this case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the U.S. Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and to identify and rescue victims.

This case is being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Defendants should be considered innocent until proven guilty.