CONCORD – Michael A Clemence, 36, of Rochester, was sentenced to 78 months in federal prison for possession of child pornography, United States Attorney John J. Farley announced today.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in February of 2020, the Homeland Security Investigations New Hampshire office received information that on April 28, 2019, an individual originating from an IP address at a Rochester residence had accessed a website known for sharing child sexual abuse and exploitation material. Clemence was identified as the subscriber of the target IP address.
On May 26, 2021, agents conducted a consensual interview with Clemence. They advised him they were investigating internet activity associated with child exploitation material and that some of the activity occurred in April of 2019 from the IP address associated with his previous address. Clemence made no admissions but volunteered that his wife had previously found disturbing material on their home computer and that they subsequently wiped the computer’s hard drive and gave the computer away. Clemence’s wife later confirmed that in May of 2019, she discovered thousands of images of what appeared to be child exploitation material on Clemence’s laptop computer.
After further investigation, a search warrant was executed at Clemence’s residence, which resulted in the seizure of numerous electronic devices. Forensic examination of the devices confirmed the presence of child exploitation material. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children identified 1,351 images as depicting known minor victims.
Clemence previously pleaded guilty on December 7, 2021. In addition to his sentence, Clemence was ordered to pay $52,000 in restitution and will be under supervised release for 10 years after his release from prison.
“Innocent children are exploited and harmed during the creation of child sexual abuse material,” said U.S. Attorney Farley. “By amassing a significant quantity of graphic images of minors, this defendant furthered the exploitation of these youthful victims. To protect innocent children from harm, we will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute those who possess or distribute these horrific images of sexual abuse.”
“Clemence downloaded material that depicted the horrific abuse of children. HSI is proud to work alongside our partners at the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force to investigate and seek prosecution of those who download child exploitation material,” said Matthew Millhollin, Special Agent in Charge for the Homeland Security Investigations’ Boston Field Office. “We are grateful for the additional assistance of the Rochester Police Department and Merrimack County Sheriff’s Office in this case.”
This matter was investigated by the Homeland Security Investigations and the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, with assistance from the Rochester Police Department and Merrimack County Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kasey Weiland.
In February 2006, the Department of Justice introduced Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.