WORCESTER, MA – A Fitchburg man pleaded guilty today to enticement of a minor and child pornography charges in federal court in Worcester.
Ryan Decarolis, 27, pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, two counts of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography before U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman, who scheduled sentencing for Jan. 15, 2021. Decarolis has been in custody since his arrest on Aug. 2, 2019.
Decarolis admitted that he used a social media account to communicate with an individual who was subsequently charged with production and distribution of child pornography. With the consent of that individual, an undercover federal agent assumed control of that individual’s account and began communicating in an undercover capacity with Decarolis. In January 2019, Decarolis distributed child pornography to the undercover officer, and in April 2019, Decarolis provided the undercover officer with access to his Dropbox account, which contained hundreds of images and videos depicting child pornography. Included in that material was at least one video that depicted Decarolis sexually assaulting a young boy.
In August 2019, during a search of Decarolis’s Fitchburg residence, agents seized a tablet belonging to Decarolis that contained additional videos depicting child pornography. In addition, agents identified a second Dropbox account used by Decarolis that contained videos depicting the sexual exploitation of several children. Included within that material were numerous images and videos that Decarolis produced himself, some of which depicted Decarolis separately sexually assaulting at least four boys under the age of 12.
The charge of sexual exploitation of a minor provides for a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years and up to 30 years in prison, a minimum mandatory of five years and up to life of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of distribution of child pornography provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and up to 20 years in prison, a minimum mandatory of five years and up to life of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of possession of child pornography provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison because the material involved a child who had not attained the age of 12, a minimum mandatory of five years and up to life of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Michael Shea, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations, Boston Field Division; and Fitchburg Police Chief Ernest F. Martineau made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle L. Dineen Jerrett from Lelling’s Worcester Office is prosecuting the case.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.