TUCSON, Ariz. – Last week, Richard Lee Molinar, 44, of Safford, Arizona, was sentenced by United States District Judge Scott H. Rash to 60 months in prison for child exploitation offenses. Molinar earlier pleaded guilty to Possession of Child Pornography. Upon release, Molinar will be placed on lifetime supervised release with sex offender conditions and will be required to register as a sex offender.
On July 7, 2021, Molinar was charged by a six-count indictment that alleged he received, possessed, and distributed child pornography between March 1, 2020, and April 1, 2021. Molinar pleaded guilty to count one of the indictment on June 23, 2022, which charged that on or about April 1, 2021, he possessed child pornography. Molinar admitted to possessing a phone which he used to access, download, save, and view images and 13 videos depicting minor children, many under the age of 12, who were engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Molinar received and distributed these images and videos using Facebook Messenger.
“Project Safe Childhood aims to protect the public long-term from the actions of defendants who seek to exploit children,” said United States Attorney Gary Restaino. “Because of this conviction, and the diligence of our partners at Homeland Security Investigations, the defendant will be subject to stringent conditions for the rest of his life with respect to the use of the internet and participation in chat rooms and other forms of social networking.”
“HSI will not tolerate the exploitation of children and will continue to use our unique investigative authorities to bring to justice anyone who attempts to violate our children,” said Special Agent in Charge Scott Brown, HSI Arizona.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation in this case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rebecca S. Garvey and Carin C. Duryee, District of Arizona, Tucson, handled the prosecution.
CASE NUMBER: CR-21-01599-SHR-BGM
RELEASE NUMBER: 2022-227_Molinar
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For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/az/
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