Child porn nets 10-year federal term

Reisterstown sex offender also faces child abuse counts

August 19, 2008|By Kevin Rector | Kevin Rector,Sun Reporter

A Reisterstown man was sentenced to more than 10 years in federal prison yesterday for possession of child pornography that investigators said they found on computers in his home after he was indicted last year in Baltimore County on sexual abuse charges involving a minor, prosecutors said.

Richard David Morris Jr., 26, of the 6000 block of Deer Park Road, who has been registered as a sex offender in the state since 2000, was sentenced in federal District Court to 122 months in prison and lifelong supervised release for the child pornography charge, said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.

Morris faces four sexual abuse and offense charges in Baltimore County Circuit Court. The county charges involve a complaint by a boy on a baseball team that Morris had coached who said Morris had touched him in a sexually inappropriate way several times at Morris' home, said Stephanie Porter, an assistant state's attorney.

The complaint came shortly before the boy and two other youths were scheduled to go with Morris on a Florida trip that was unrelated to their playing baseball, Porter said. The boy's grandfather became suspicious before the trip and found Morris' name on the Maryland Sex Offender Registry, prosecutors said. The boy then said Morris had inappropriately touched him, investigators said.

Because of a second-degree sexual offense conviction that put Morris on the sex offender registry eight years ago, the minimum sentence for the pornography charge under federal guidelines was 10 years, Rosenstein said. Federal courts can sentence sexual offenders to longer prison sentences than can state courts, he said.

"This is a very substantial sentence, and I think sends a very powerful message that people who possess child pornography can wind up spending very significant amounts of time in federal prison," Rosenstein said.

The pornography charges came after a Baltimore County computer forensic examiner found dozens of the sexual images of children on the seized computers, court records show.

The case was filed as part of Project Safe Childhood, which aims to protect children against online exploitation and abuse nationwide, Rosenstein said.

kevin.rector@baltsun.com

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