RIDGECREST, Calif. - Ridgecrest resident Ralph Michael Smith, 53, was sentenced today by Chief United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii to eight years and one month in prison, to be followed by 15 years of supervised release for receiving child pornography.
According to court documents, Smith received 24 separate videos and an additional 161 still images depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The images and videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct also involved the portrayal of sadistic, masochistic, and other depictions of violence. Smith received the child pornography on his computer via the Internet, and many of the minors depicted were prepubescent minors.
This case is the result of an extensive investigation by the Central California Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force led by the Bakersfield office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant United States Attorney Brian W. Enos prosecuted the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about Internet safety education.