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Convicted Pedophile Looking at 15 Years

A Nashville man faces a minimum of 15 years in prison following his Thursday conviction for online child pornography-related activities.

Following a two-and-a-half week trial, Timothy Ryan Richards, 25, was charged with a number of offenses, including distribution and conspiracy to distribute, advertising, production and possession of child pornography, as well as violating the record-keeping requirements associated with the distribution of sexually explicit material.

Until the time of his arrest in September 2005, Richards ran several Web sites depicting adolescent boys engaged in sexually explicit activity. To provide material for the sites, Richards engaged in a sexual relationship with a then 14-year-old boy.

Richards filmed and took pictures of himself engaged in a sexual activity with the boy a number of times over a four-year period. In addition, Richards traveled with the boy to Australia and Iceland for more sexual explicit photographs and videos.

Richards used the videos and photographs in an online commercial child pornography operation. He advertised his sites and established an elaborate affiliate marketing program that rewarded others for generating traffic to his sites.

"We are pleased that the jury recognized the serious nature of Richards' crimes," Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher said in a statement.

"The Department of Justice places a high priority on protecting our children from sexual predators and child pornographers. This verdict is a significant step in our efforts to combat the exploitation of our children."

The investigation began when federal warrants were issued to search the content of computer servers in Freemont, Calif., and Los Angeles. Law enforcement officials believed the servers contained child pornography.

Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 26.