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Child Exploitation
10/18/2012

Registered sex offender charged with child pornography offenses

TAMPA, Fla. — A St. Petersburg, Fla., man was charged via criminal complaint with receipt and possession of child pornography Thursday. The charges resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

The complaint alleges that between May and October, Richard Sikorski, 40, received child pornography using his cellular phone. Sikorski admitted that he used his phone to receive child pornography, which he then viewed and deleted in an attempt to avoid detection by law enforcement. Sikorski also stated that he used text messages to chat with other individuals regarding the sexual exploitation of children. Approximately 29 videos of child pornography were located on the Secure Digital card of Sikorski's cellular phone.

If convicted on all counts, Sikorski faces a minimum of 15 years and up to 60 years in federal prison.

Sikorski is a registered sex offender. He was convicted in 2001 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida for transporting child pornography by computer.

A criminal complaint is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678.

HSI is a founding member and the U.S. representative of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.