I hope that my blog readers (and non-readers alike) will agree that there are no crimes worse than those committed against children. The tragedy is multiplied when the offender is a parent who is supposedly responsible for the love and protection of these most innocent members of our society. The recent story that is unfolding in San Antonio, Texas has left many people in this area, and across the country, sickened by the details.
Mother-of-the-year nominee Jennifer Richards, 25, is charged with using interstate facilities to transmit information about a minor. Her married (to someone else) boyfriend, Sean Michael Block, is charged with distributing child pornography. The specifics behind these federal charges? Richards offered her five-year-old daughter for sex in exchange for an apartment and a used car, with her ten-month-old daughter being promised as an eventual offering for child rape as well. According to the affidavit, Richards actually believed that the sexual experience would be positive for her young daughter. For his part, Block allegedly advertised his girlfriend's child through text messages and emailed links to child pornography sites.
Richards' attorney claims that the internet conversations were nothing more than fantasy and that the girls were never actually harmed. I'll leave it to those involved in the trial to determine the plausibility of this explanation, but I imagine these two co-workers at The Cheesecake Factory are going to have difficulty fighting the evidence the FBI has gathered against them.
The charge against Richards is part of the Protection of Children from Sexual Predators Act of 1998, which prohibits the use of mail or computers to transmit information about a minor under the age of eighteen for criminal sexual purposes. If found guilty, she faces a fine, up to five years in prison, or both.
The attorneys at Bertolino LLP believe that everyone is entitled to aggressive representation under the United States and Texas Constitutions, regardless of the nature of the crime. If you need legal counsel, please contact our Austin, San Antonio, or Houston offices today.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Posted by Tony R. Bertolino, Esq. at 10:37 AM