Investigations by Oregon Department of Justice's Internet Crimes Against Children Unit have led to prison sentences in three child pornography case so far this year.
Oregon Attorney General John Kroger today announced a 73-month prison sentence for an Albany man who pleaded guilty to child pornography charges.
"Child pornography causes great harm to victims," said Keith Dubanevich, Chief of Staff and Special Counsel to Attorney General Kroger. "That is why we will use all of the resources available to us to track down and convict anyone engaged in these crimes."
Richard Earl Downard (DOB: 03/6/1967) was sentenced in Linn County Circuit Court today after pleading guilty to six counts of Encouraging Child Sexual Abuse in the First Degree.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Michael Slauson prosecuted Downard.
Attorney General Kroger's top legislative priority in 2011 is to fix Oregon's child pornography law in response to an adverse court ruling.
The Oregon Supreme Court in January overturned two child pornography convictions, ruling that the crime of Encouraging Child Sexual Abuse requires proof that the defendants intended to download child pornography. The evidence of child pornography found on the defendants' computers demonstrated that they had viewed child pornography online, but did not prove that they intended to download it. Attorney General Kroger has proposed House Bill 3323 to clarify the Legislature's intent that Encouraging Child Sexual Abuse includes the type of evidence involved in the two cases before the Oregon Supreme Court.
The public is strongly encouraged to report information involving on-line sexual exploitation of children to their local law enforcement agency or to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at www.cybertipline.com or by calling 1-800-843-5678. Tips can be submitted anonymously.
The Oregon Department of Justice Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) unit investigates and prosecutes predators who use the internet to target and sexually exploit children. The unit works with district attorneys, law enforcement agencies and regional task forces that investigate online predators. ICAC is the only program in Oregon that is equipped with the necessary resources to catch sex predators throughout the state. Budget cuts last year threatened to end the program in Oregon, but Attorney General Kroger made restoring the funds a top public safety priority. As a consequence of Kroger's efforts, the Oregon Department of Justice received a $665,000 federal stimulus grant to keep the program operating.
From 2005 to 2011, 157 internet predators were convicted as a result of ICAC's work.
Downard is the third man to be sentenced to prison in 2011 as a result of ICAC investigations.
Neil Bryan McKinney (DOB: 05/03/1966), a school bus driver, was sentenced in January in Clackamas County Circuit Court to 84 months in prison after pleading guilty to five counts of Encouraging Child Sexual Abuse in the First Degree. Senior Assistant Attorney General Michael Slauson and Clackamas County Deputy District Attorney Russell Amos prosecuted McKinney.
Kenneth George Pitts Jr. (DOB: 09/06/1967) was sentenced in February in Multnomah County Circuit Court to 16 months in prison after pleading guilty to Encouraging Child Sexual Abuse in the First and Second Degree. Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Chris Ramras prosecuted Pitts.
Attorney General John Kroger leads the Oregon Department of Justice. The Department's mission is to fight crime and fraud, protect the environment, improve child welfare, promote a positive business climate, and defend the rights of all Oregonians.
Tony Green, (503) 378-6002 firstname.lastname@example.org