NH ICAC In The News

Local man sentenced to decades in prison for sexually assaulting child, recording it

  • By PAUL CUNO-BOOTH Sentinel Staff
  • Updated 

A Hinsdale man was sentenced to 20 to 50 years in state prison, after pleading guilty to charges that he recorded himself sexually abusing a girl under the age of 10.

Keith N. Morrissette, 53, pleaded guilty Monday to manufacture of child sexual abuse images, aggravated felonious sexual assault and possession of child sexual abuse images.

Cheshire County Superior Court Judge David W. Ruoff sentenced Morrissette to consecutive sentences of 10 to 30 years on the first charge and 10 to 20 years on the second charge. On the third charge, Morrissette received a suspended sentence of 7½ to 15 years.

Morrissette was arrested in June, after Hinsdale police and the inter-agency N.H. Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force searched his home and vehicle.

After searching Morrissette’s iPad and cellphone, investigators found thumbnail images of him sexually assaulting a young girl, according to an affidavit written by Hinsdale Police Chief Todd A. Faulkner. The images resulted from a since-deleted video recorded on the iPad, Faulkner wrote.

Court documents indicate the girl was between the ages of 7 and 9 at the time prosecutors say Morrissette assaulted her.

Authorities began investigating Morrissette in February 2017, after Google told the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about a video displaying child sexual abuse that had been uploaded to the Internet.

Police later linked the upload to Morrissette’s IP address, according to Faulkner’s affidavit.

The image-possession charge stemmed from a separate video Morrissette had of two prepubescent children engaging in sexual conduct.

Morrissette was held at the Cheshire County jail for 245 days before his plea and sentencing, according to court documents.

Paul Cuno-Booth can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1409.

NH ICAC In The News

Nashua Police Department
Press Release
February 6, 2018
On February 1, 2018 at approximately 6:00 AM the Nashua Police Department’s Special Investigations Division executed a search warrant with the assistance of the Patrol Division, the Computer Forensic Unit, and Homeland Security Investigations at 7 Newcastle Drive, apartment 3, Nashua, New Hampshire as a result of an ongoing investigation. While on scene, Detectives discovered evidence of child pornography in the possession of Robert Hopkins, date of birth, November 23, 1962. Hopkins was then placed in custody and charged with 5 counts of Possession of Child Pornography, Class A Felony. Hopkins’ bail was set at $200,000.00 cash only pending his arraignment in the Hillsborough County Superior Court South on February 2, 2018.
On February 2, 2018 at approximately 6:30 AM the Nashua Police Department’s Special Investigations Division executed a search warrant with the assistance of the Patrol Division, the Computer Forensic Unit, and Homeland Security Investigations at 5 Westhill Drive, Nashua, New Hampshire as a result of an ongoing investigation. While on scene, Detectives discovered evidence of child pornography in the possession of Robert Catanzano Jr., date of birth, July 14, 1961. Catanzano Jr. was placed in custody at that time and charged with 5 counts of Possession of Child Pornography, Class A Felony. Catanzano Jr. was released on $50,000.00 cash or surety bail pending his arraignment in the Hillsborough County Superior Court South on February 22, 2018.
 
Each Class A Felony is punishable by up to 15 years in State Prison, exclusive of fines. The Nashua Police Department is an affiliate of the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force.
Follow the Nashua Police Department on Twitter @Nashua Police and report crimes anonymous using the Nashua Crime Line at (603) 589-1665.
 
Contact:
Lieutenant Robert Page
Phone: 603-594-3580

NH ICAC In The News

Man convicted of filming sexual abuse of child begins prison sentence

Officials say urgent multistate investigation located victim in Loudon

Franklin man convicted of filming sexual abuse of child begins prison sentence
by WMUR US
A Franklin man has started serving a 50-year prison sentence and he was convicted last year of six counts of producing child sex abuse videos.

Law enforcement officials said the multistate investigation was more urgent than most. This case involved a living victim, a 3-year-old boy from Loudon. When the tip came in from Louisiana, investigators in New Hampshire said they couldn’t waste a single minute.

Brad Smith, 33, was arrested in Louisiana, but police said the videos he produced were made in New Hampshire, so the case was tried in federal court in the Granite State.

“This case began with a Homeland Security investigation in Detroit, Michigan,” said Mike Posanka of the Department of Homeland Security.

A suspect in Michigan was trading images and videos with Smith in Louisiana, officials said.

“He was wearing Google Glasses and filmed himself engaging in horrific sex acts with a very young child,” acting U.S. Attorney John Farley said.

In a matter of hours after receiving the tip, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies were coordinating a multistate investigation to stop Smith and notify the Loudon family about what had happened.

“Since it was a victim identification and due to the egregious nature of the allegations, we deemed this as a very high priority case,” said Cmdr. Tom Grella of the state Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce.

Smith was convicted in April and sentenced last week.

“We know and have some assurance that that individual is not going to hurt any more children, and that’s very important to us, and it’s important to the community,” Farley said.

Forensic examiners had to log hundreds of thousands of hours of videos and images found on Smith’s computer to build the case.

“Unfortunately, some of the images they have to see are some of the most horrific things you can imagine, and I always say they can’t unsee that,” Concord police Lt. Sean Ford said.

Investigators said Smith was completely unrepentant and tried to revoke his taped confession during the trial and pin the crimes on his brother. He is appealing his conviction.

NH ICAC In The News

Former Goffstown youth coach gets 25 years in child pornography case

By PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader

CONCORD — A former Goffstown youth sports coach has been sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for producing child pornography, including images of players on teams he coached.

Matthew Riehl, 25, of Goffstown, was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Concord to 25 years in prison for producing child pornography.

He was arrested in September 2016 on nine counts of possession of child sexual abuse images, Class A felonies, and prohibited use of an electronic device, a Class B felony.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Riehl coached youth sports teams in Goffstown, including junior varsity basketball.

While posing online as a teenage girl, Riehl contacted his victims through social media accounts and persuaded his victims to take photographs of themselves and send the photos to him.

When some of the victims sent pictures that were not sexually explicit, Riehl would contact and convince them to take photos showing more sexually explicit conduct. In some instances, Riehl was able to coerce the victims to send explicit photos by threatening to post on social media photos the victims previously had sent to him.

On Aug. 31, 2016, a search warrant was executed at Riehl’s home in Goffstown and his cellphone was seized.

A forensic examination was performed on the phone by the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, which revealed approximately 500 photographs of minor boys in various stages of undress, including examples of child pornography.

According to police, many photographs included youths who were members of teams that Riehl had coached.

At the time of his arrest in 2016, the Goffstown School District confirmed Riehl’s employment in a statement saying:

“We are deeply troubled by the charges against Matt Riehl. The safety and welfare of our student athletes is our top priority. Matt was thoroughly vetted prior to becoming a basketball coach for the district. In light of these charges, the district will be taking immediate action regarding Matt’s employment.”

Goffstown officials had no comment Wednesday on Riehl pleading guilty.

He no longer works in the district.

Hal Jordan, president and chief executive officer of the Granite YMCA, confirmed that Riehl worked at the YMCA Allard Center of Goffstown for about a year and a half in 2012 and 2013.

Riehl, who previously pleaded guilty, was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison, followed by 15 years of supervised release. He will also have to register as a sex offender for life.

“This 25-year sentence demonstrates that those who use the internet to prey on young victims will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said acting U.S. Attorney John Farley in a statement. “It is a sad fact of modern life that some individuals adopt false identities on the internet in order to manipulate and exploit their young victims. We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute those who create child pornography. I commend the bravery of the victims and their families who cooperated with this investigation and encourage all parents to speak to their children about the dangers that lurk on the Internet.”

“This case involves an egregious breach of public trust, given Mr. Riehl’s former position in the community, and today’s significant sentencing ensures that he no longer has access to children,” said acting Special Agent in Charge Michael Shea of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Boston. “HSI is proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our law enforcement partners and other stakeholders aggressively engaged in the effort against child predators.”

“This investigation is another fine example of the collaborative efforts of state, local and federal law enforcement agencies working to bring to justice those who prey on society’s most innocent victims,” said Detective Sgt. Thomas A. Grella, commander of the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

pfeely@unionleader.com

http://www.unionleader.com/courts/Former-Goffstown-youth-coach-gets-25-years-in-child-pornography-case-02012018

NH ICAC Warns Parents of Online Predators and Internet Dangers

by Hadley Barndollar

hbarndollar@seacoastonline.com

Stratham — Children in New Hampshire are being lured, groomed and taken advantage of by online predators, and the state’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force wants parents to face the reality.

Pedophiliac strangers are entering homes around the state through thousands of mobile apps and websites — platforms many children have access to 24/7.  And for many parents unfamiliar with the digital sphere, education and awareness is crucial in protecting their children.

“It’s about communication, it’s about knowing what’s out there, and it’s about knowing it happens here,” said Tom Grella, commander of New Hampshire ICAC.  “I don’t mean to scare you, I just want you to be prepared.”

Grella and task force member Matt Fleming, a Bedford police detective, gave a presentation “Social Media:  A Predator’s Playground” to parents at the Cooperative Middle School in Stratham Thursday night.  Grella told parents the presentation “might really shock your conscience”.

Grella and Fleming explained the landscape of social media today, what parents should be aware of and what they should look for in their children.

While Facebook was once the pillar of social media, it isn’t any longer, Fleming said.  Students are now using Instagram and Snapchat as more regular modes of communication.  He mentioned sites such as Tumblr and Omegle as having highly explicit content, and where many predators lie.

Risk factors of such websites, Grella said, are distribution and trading of sexual images, sextortion and cyberbullying, solicitation or child sex trafficking, and sexual assault and abduction.

Online predators, many posing as young children, act as the greatest threat of danger.  But students can get caught in bad situations with each other.  Grella discussed “sexting,” where provocative or naked photos are exchanged.  These photos can be passed around, posted on social media, and possibly remain on the internet forever.

In 2015, a 15-year-old male Exeter High School student was arrested on a felony charge alleging he sold explicit photos of underage female students.

Grella and Fleming told parents of very real cases investigated by ICAC in New Hampshire regarding adult predators.  In one case involving a local girl, detectives traced the suspect all the way to Pakistan.  But most of the time, it’s someone not so conspicuous.

“Our suspects aren’t who you think they are”, said Fleming.  “Our suspects are moms and dads.  Our suspects are teachers and doctors and cops and firefighters and military people, lawyers, two pizza guys a couple years ago in Goffstown.  We grab people who you live next door to.  We grab people who live in your house and you didn’t even know were doing it in your house.  These are people who hide in plain sight and they make victims in plain sight.”

In 2017, a youth sports coach in Goffstown pleaded guilty to producing child pornography.  Matthew Riehl, 25, posed as a teenage girl on social media, persuading his victims to take photographs of themselves and send them to him.  A search warrant executed at Riehl’s residence uncovered approximately 500 photographs of minor boys in various states of dress, including child pornography.

This month, a Greenland man, Jason Stone, 39, pleaded guilty in federal court to possessing child pornography.  A review of various electronic devices found in Stones residence showed they contained more than 100 images and videos of child pornography.

Sometimes there are warning signs when a child is dealing with conflict online, they said.  Red flags may include a child stopping use of their cellphone, acting nervous when receiving a text or email, seeming uneasy about school or being withdrawn from friends and family.

One in five minors are sexually approached online with unwanted solicitations, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.  Adult offenders may groom children by exploiting their natural curiosity, gradually introducing explicit images and offering gifts.

“If you don’t believe in these scenarios, then you are waiting to be a victim,” Fleming said.  “Because we have met those people.”

Grella and Fleming urged parents to accept the reality and be open with their children.  If your child tells you about something happening online, don’t freak out.

“The minute your kid tells you they did something wrong, we go nuclear, we can’t help it,” Fleming said.  “We can’t help but get pissed.  We don’t handle it well.”

Fleming said having conversations about online dangers with children might prompt them to disclose something happening to them, or if they know a friend in a bad situation.

“What we are talking about here is not a situation that is exclusive to the rich or the poor,” he said.  “It is exclusive to kids and parents and our failure to monitor, our failure to understand.”

New Hampshire ICAC receives approximately 60 tips per month and executes an average of one search warrant per week.

So how do you protect your children?  Be aware of what information you and your children are sharing online, do your homework about various social media platforms and how kids are using them, and communicate with your family.

For more information, visit www.icactaskforce.org or www.netsmartz.org/Educators.