Public Safety

Cedar Rapids man faces up to 20 years for child pornography

Troy French
Troy French

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids man who possessed more than 2,000 images and more than 50 videos of child pornography was convicted this week in federal court.

Troy French, 29, pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court to one count of possession of child pornography. During the plea hearing, French admitted that he knowingly possessed child pornography from 2012 to 2017.

In 2011 and 2012, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received three cybertip reports about French, a plea agreement shows. He communicated with a 15-year-old girl on the “myYearbook” website and through text messages. French used his own name but changed his date of birth, posing as a 15-year-old. The victim’s mother reported the incident as well as the center.

French was interviewed by an Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation agent and a member of the Iowa State Patrol in February 2012 regarding that communication. He told authorities he understood the “ramifications” of his behavior and said he wouldn’t do it again, according to the plea.

In June 2012, French communicated with a different 15-year-old girl on the “MeetMe” website, formerly myYearbook, using a fake name and posing again as a 15-year-old, the plea agreement shows. He was again interviewed by authorities and told them it wouldn’t happen again.

A month later, French communicated with a 14-year-old girl on the same website and used a fake name, posing as a 14-year-old, according to the plea. The center again notified law enforcement of this contact.

French faces up to 20 years, a $250,000 fine, $5,100 in court assessments and five years of supervised release following any prison time.

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The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Tremmel and was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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.

Sentencing will be set after a presentencing report is completed.

• Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com

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