Florida Deputy Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Pornography Charges
A former Florida deputy pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges. Travis Ryan Pritchard pleaded guilty to producing an image showing a child being sexually abused and possessing another image of a prepubescent child being sexually abused. The Clay County Deputy could be facing up to 50 years given federal sentencing guidelines. Below, we’ll discuss what precipitated the charges and how federal sentencing guidelines work.
The complaint states that Pritchard first met the girl at a convenience store and then stalked her through an online chat application. The two then shared sexually explicit photos. Pritchard would sneak into the girl’s house after her parents had gone to sleep, and the two would have sex.
However, the girl’s mother found out and contacted police telling them that her teenaged daughter was having sex with an adult man. A detective took over the girl’s chat account and began exchanging texts with Pritchard. Pritchard made arrangements to meet the girl at her home, and it was there that he was caught and arrested.
An investigation into Pritchard’s phone revealed multiple conversations between himself and the girl as well as an encrypted online folder containing multiple images of child pornography.
Federal Statutory Minimums
The statutory minimum for producing child pornography is 15 years in federal prison with a maximum sentence of 30 years. However, since the image he produced depicted a minor being sexually abused the minimum sentence would be 25 years. Since the article doesn’t discuss what the image depicts, it’s hard to know if Pritchard is guilty of the 10-year additional sentence.
The second charge is possessing child pornography of a victim being sexually exploited. Typically, such a count would have a 10-year maximum, but when the child depicted is under the age of 12, the charges escalate to 20 years.
Defenses to Child Pornography Charges
In this case, Pritchard got caught by other police when he pulled up in his squad car to have sex with an underage girl. The police had text messages, sexually explicit photos, and evidence of sexual contact. With that kind of evidence against you, his best option was to take a plea and throw himself on the mercy of the court. However, he could be facing a maximum sentence of 50 years and a minimum sentence of 20.
In a child pornography prosecution, the prosecution must prove that the defendant knowingly possessed the images and that the images portray sexually provocative pictures. Further, the person depicted in the picture must be under 18 years of age, even in states where the age of consent is 17.
Lastly, the type of sexual imagery portrayed in the photos must, in some cases, be more than mere nudity.
Talk to a Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer in Tampa
If you’re facing federal charges, then you need a Tampa criminal attorney who is able to fight those charges in federal court. Call The Matassini Law Firm today to learn more about how we can help.