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Child Exploitation

Rhode Island man sentenced to more than 4 years in federal prison on child pornography charges

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A Rhode Island man was sentenced Thursday to 51 months in federal prison, to be followed by a lifetime of supervised for release, for possessing more than 12,000 images of child pornography. The sentence is the result of an extensive investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Rhode Island State Police; Coventry (R.I.) Police Department; and the Rhode Island Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Robert Chace, 25, of East Providence, R.I., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell Jr. Judge McConnell also ordered the defendant to participate in sex offender treatment, mental health treatment and substance abuse treatment.

Chace pleaded guilty June 6, 2012, to a two-count indictment charging him with possession of child pornography. Chace has two prior convictions for failing to register as a sex offender. According to court documents, after his Jan. 31, 2011, arrest for failing to register as a sex offender, law enforcement was alerted to a digital memory card belonging to Chace that was discovered by one of his former roommates. The memory card contained 12,000 images and 37 videos of child pornography.

Chace was arrested Nov. 4, 2011, on a federal complaint for possession of child pornography. At the time of his arrest, law enforcement discovered additional digital media devices belonging to Chace that contained more than 600 images and 100 videos of child pornography.

This case is the result of HSI's Operation Predator, a nationwide initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who sexually exploit children. As part of Operation Predator, HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or 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 or http://www.cybertipline.com.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adi Goldstein, District of Rhode Island, on behalf of the U.S. government.