On February 10, 2020, it was made public news that a Collin County man was found guilty for the possession of thousands of images of child pornography. According to the Collin County District Attorney’s Office, 35-year-old Robert Kessler of Allen, Texas, was sentenced to a 25-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to 10 counts of Possession of Child Pornography. “Child pornographers must face the consequences of exploiting children, especially those without a voice,” Collin County Criminal District Attorney Greg Willis said. Kessler was initially found in possession of child pornography back in 2018. At this time, the Collin County Sheriff’s Office investigators leading the investigation found Kessler in possession of approximately 6,000 images and videos depicting child pornography. However, subsequent investigations revealed that the man was in possession of nearly 100,000 images of children pornography, victims ranging from toddlers to early teens.
To make matters worse, law enforcement reviewed the criminal’s images, and identified over 6,000 known victims listed on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children database. After reviewing the evidence and the case as a whole, Judge Tom Nowak assessed 10-year sentences on counts 1 and 2 to run consecutively. Judge Nowak then assessed 5-year sentences on the remaining counts, to begin after the first two prison sentences are served, for a total punishment of 25 years in prison.
In addition to this, another Collin County man located in Allen, Texas, was sentenced to 35 years in federal prison Thursday for possession of child pornography. Richard Denver Belden, 41, was arrested in May 2018, after law enforcement executed a search warrant at his home on West McDermott Drive they were able to acquire due to suspicion of possession. During the search, detectives discovered numerous electronic devices that had over 4,000 images and videos of child pornography. In total, it is estimated that Belden owned, in total, 58 terabytes of child pornography. “These type of cases show the real depravity of parts of our society,” said U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown. “We are fortunate that law enforcement is out there looking for these people.”
Belden pleaded guilty in June 2019 to receipt and possession of child pornography. Following Belden’s sentencing Thursday, FBI Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. Desarno said, “Today’s result is the product of the outstanding collaboration between the FBI and its local partners. The FBI, through the North Texas Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, will continue to work tirelessly to keep our kids safe. This lengthy sentence will hopefully serve as a warning for all those who would seek to prey on the most vulnerable among us.”
Sexual offense convictions that take place in Collin County will have extreme consequences. Individuals who commit sex crimes are viewed as a threat to society, especially when they are found preying on children, which is exactly what Robert Kessler and Richard Belden did. The lengthy jail sentences they both received reflects the severity of the crimes they committed. There are countless families in Collin County who are trying to safely raise their children, and individuals like Kessler and Belden pose a threat to the youth of our community.
The consequences of Kessler’s and Belden’s actions will not only result in a jail sentence. Once they are released from prison, these two men will most likely see a drastic change in their day-to-day lives. For example, they will most likely be forced to become registered sex offenders, which will prohibit them from working and living in certain areas.
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy do not condone the actions of the criminals mentioned in this article. We recognize them as dangers to society, and we understand that justice must be served in situations like these.
As a law firm specializing in criminal defense, we also understand that there are some sexual offense charges that should not result in convictions. False accusations and misinformation have caused many innocent individuals to spend time behind bars, and this should never happen. Are you facing criminal charges and you need help defending your name in a court of law? To fight back against your charge, contact The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy at 469-304-3422. You can also reach us through our online contact form here. Our litigation experts are ready to help you with your case.