Army Colonel Robert Rice who at one point in time headed the U.S. Army’s Strategic War Games Division has been convicted of intent to download and distribute child pornography according to AP.
Col. Robert Rice, 59, will face 12 years in federal prison for sharing the illicit images.
Rice was arrested in 2013 and charged earlier this year in October after he plead guilty to three counts of child pornography during a military court.
During today’s trial, Rice told Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S. District Judge Christopher Conner that he was “deeply ashamed” and he acknowledged that the victims of child pornography may never heal from the abuse they suffered.
“When this began I didn’t see the human beings,” Rice said. “I came to realize that this is not a victimless crime. That each time an image is passed it renews the … emotional damage,” he, added.
He also confessed that he felt that he was responsible and ashamed that he enabled the cycle of abuse. “I am so sorry and ashamed for what I did to continue that cycle,” Rice, said.
Rice was convicted by a jury, and Assistant U.S. Attorney James Clancy.
Clancy said, that “the severity of this kind of crime cannot be overstated,”
According to Clancy, Rice is said to have worn his full military uniform every single day to his trial.
Rice blamed his wife for his situation, telling U.S. District Judge Christopher Conner that his own actions put his wife in an impossible position. Although, he said he took “full responsibility” and that he had brought dishonor on the Army. He apologized to the Army, his family members, his friends and investigators.
“She had the moral courage to do what was right, and I did not,” Rice said.
Rice’s criminal activity became known to investigators after software had been installed on one of his computers according to U.S. District Judge Christopher Conner.
Conner said that Rice had a large number of images and displayed knowledge of and experience in trading child pornography, actions that occurred over an extended period of time.
Conner didn’t note if this software was voluntarily installed or remotely installed on Rice’s computer.
Rice’s attorney argued that Rice’s age put him at a low risk of being a re-offender and committing the same felony, and that the army colonel has benefited from the counseling he has received.
Rice was fined $5,100 for his crime and will have to spend 10 years under supervision upon his release from his 12 year prison sentence.
In the previous sentencing, Rice was given a mere four years in prison, but his recent sentencing added on an additional 8 years. However, the case still has to be reviewed and the sentencing and findings have to be accepted by district commander, Maj. Gen. Bradley Becker.