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Project Safe Childhood News

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 23, 2013
  • Eastern District of California (916) 554-2700

FRESNO, CA—United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced the following developments in cases today in United States District Court in Fresno:

Tennessee Man Pleads Guilty to Receiving Child Pornography, Docket # 1:12-Cr-00081 LJO

Christopher Joseph Kirk, 36, of Big Sandy, Tennessee, pleaded guilty today to receiving child pornography. According to court documents, Kirk admitted that in 2006, while living in Kern County, he knowingly received more than 600 images of child pornography, several of which depicted prepubescent minors, violence, sadistic, or masochistic conduct.

This case was the result of investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Offices in Bakersfield; Detroit; Albany, New York; and Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the Bakersfield Police Department.

Kirk was remanded into custody today. He will be sentenced on December 16, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. by United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill. The plea agreement indicates a sentence of nine years in prison, to be followed by 15 years of supervised release, during which his access to computers, the Internet, and minors will be restricted. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

Fresno Man Sentenced for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender, Docket # 1:12-Cr-392 LJO

Ronald Scott Roufs, 48, of Fresno, was sentenced by United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill to 11 months in prison, to be followed by 10 years of supervised release, for failure to register as a sex offender. According to court documents, Roufs was obligated to register as a sex offender after serving six years and four months in prison for a 1991 conviction in Thurston County, Washington, for child molestation.

The Mason County Sheriff’s Office in Washington began an investigation in June 2011 after Roufs moved from his residence in Washington and failed to update his registration as a sex offender. The Fresno Office of the United States Marshals Service assisted with the investigation and ultimately located Roufs in Fresno. At the time of his arrest, he was residing next to a day care facility for children. The investigation revealed that he had also lived in Oregon and Missouri.

Assistant United States Attorney David Gappa prosecuted both cases.

These cases were brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “Resources” tab for information about Internet safety education.

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