Guilty plea expected in former Royse City pastor’s child porn case

steve-richardson

Former Royse City pastor Steve Richardson from his MySpace. com site

Former Royse City pastor Steve Richardson is expected to plead guilty next month to federal charges that he possessed and trafficked in child pornography on his church’s computers.

According to the U.S. District Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas , Richardson entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors Feb. 11, and agreed to plead guilty to two federal counts of transporting and shipping child pornography, plus possession of child pornography.

Richardson is now set to be rearraigned, and is expected to enter the guilty pleas March 19, at 9 am, before Magistrate Judge Irma C Ramirez in Dallas.

The former pastor of United Methodist Church in Royse City is facing a maximum sentence on the transporting count of between five and 20 years in prison, restitution, plus a possible term of supervised release of from five years to life following any term of imprisonment.

A fine of up to $250,000 is also possible.

For the possession charge, he is facing a maximum of up to 10 years in prison, a fine, supervised release and restitution.

His attorney, Roger E. Haynes of Dallas, could not be reached for comment.

Richardson, 36, was arrested last Sept. 24 by agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Under the plea agreement, Richardson has agreed to relinquish his rights to computers which were seized from the church.

He told prosecutors that other church officials were unaware of his use of the computers.

According to a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s office, Richardson used Google “Hello” software to view and distribute the pornography, using the name  “cowboyspades.”


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