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Louisa man to serve 10 years for porn, abuse

A Louisa County man will serve 10 years in prison for 15 counts of possession of child pornography and one count of aggravated sexual battery against a toddler in his care.

Richard Shaffer

Richard Michael Price Shaffer, 23, of Bumpass was sentenced Friday to 50 years in prison with all but 10 years of that time suspended.

Shaffer pleaded guilty to those charges in a plea agreement in November and five other child pornography charges against him were dropped.

In August 2009, a computer from Shaffer’s residence attempted to send a child porn image in an e-mail.

A cybertip was sent by Shaffer’s Internet service provider to the Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce, and the computer was seized by Louisa County Sheriff’s Office Detective Patrick Siewert.

Numerous pornographic images had been downloaded onto the computer that documented the abuse of toddlers and prepubescent children engaged in sex acts with adult males.

Further investigation revealed that Shaffer had sexually assaulted a one-year-old in 2008 whom he was supervising.

Defense Attorney Jack Maus argued that it is not abnormal for adults to kiss children sometimes.

“He may have brushed [the toddler] with his mustache while changing a diaper,” he said. “That doesn’t make him a horrible child molester. I don’t think he is a great danger to society.”

Deputy Commonwealth Attorney Rusty McGuire argued that Shaffer admitted that it went too far and that the investigation of the porn images saved a child from a lifetime of abuse.

“Without the cybertip, I am not sure others would have believed the child was actually abused,” McGuire said in court. ”Children under six are the most vulnerable in our system because it is difficult for adults to believe the allegations and courts to accept their testimony. This case is a victory for our children.  While a toddler could not have testified in court we still obtained a conviction based on the work of the ICAC task force.”

Judge John Cullen said the only way to describe the images that were discussed in the case is as “extremely graphic.”

“Child pornography is a blight to the community and the harm that it does extends not only to the children depicted, but to those that are not depicted,” Cullen said. “It is really a crime that just feeds on itself and encourages other abuse of children who are unable to defend themselves.”

Before hearing his sentence, Shaffer apologized while his family members sobbed in the courtroom.

“I’m sorry for my actions, for what I’ve done and for the people I’ve hurt. I’ve learned my lesson,” Shaffer told the judge. “I do need help and I do need mental treatment that I know I won’t get when I go to prison.”

Despite a report by Forensic Psychologist Jeffrey Fracher that stated that Shaffer’s behavior was not a result of him having an interest in children, Cullen still ordered Shaffer to not have any unsupervised contact with minors and is to not contact the victim until the child turns 18 years old. Fracher, who took the stand today, refused to testify to the accuracy of his report.

Shaffer’s arrest in April 2010 stemmed from the efforts of CSI Louisa, a joint initiative between the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney of Louisa and the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office.

In the past two years, CSI Louisa has removed dozens of sexual predators from the streets.

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Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/louisa/2011/03/04/louisa-man-to-serve-10-years-for-porn-abuse/

  • Valerie Morris

    he may have brushed the child with his moustache while changing a diaper??? Not sure where he learned to change diapers, I have changed plenty and never had to get that close to the babies.

  • Randall

    someone needs to brush him upside the head with a bat.

  • karen

    say’s he’s SORRY, maybe SORRY he got caught and that’s probaly about it!!!!

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