Cathedral organist from Santa Fe convicted in federal child porn case

Posted: September 16, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Patrick Railsback

Former Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi organ player Patrick Railsback has been convicted on federal child porn charges.

This from a news release sent out by the U.S. Attorneys Office (with past New Mexican articles linked at bottom):

Yesterday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque, a federal jury convicted Patrick Railsback, a 60-year-old Santa Fe resident, on all counts of a seven-count indictment charging him with child pornography offenses after a two-day trial.  At sentencing, Railsback faces a maximum penalty of imprisonment for not less than five years and not more than 20 years to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release.  Railsback also will be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence.  Railsback was remanded into the custody of U.S. Marshal’s Service after the jury returned the guilty verdict, and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be set.

United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said Railsback was arrested on September 15, 2009, based on an investigation initiated by the New Mexico State Police (NMSP) and New Mexico Attorney General’s Office (NMAGO) after America Online (AOL) notified the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) that an E-mail address subscribed to Railsback had been used to transmit child pornography.  On September 9, 2009, Railsback was charged in a seven-count indictment with five counts of receipt of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct; and two counts of possession of child pornography.

The evidence at trial revealed that, on October 2, 2007, AOL intercepted an E-mail because it attached an image of child pornography, and alerted the NCMEC.  Because the E-mail account was associated with a zip code in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the NCMEC contacted the NMAGO, and a NMAGO investigator initiated an investigation during which he learned that the E-mail account was subscribed to Railsback.  The NMAGO then referred the matter to the NMSP.

After conducting additional investigation, the NMSP obtained a search warrant for Railsback’s residence in Santa Fe.  The warrant was executed on January 10, 2008 by NMSP officers and law enforcement officers who participate in the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC).  During the search, the officers seized a computer and computer media after confirming that they contained child pornography.  While the search was going on, NMSP officers interviewed Railsback after he volunteered to speak with them.  During the interview, Railsback admitted possessing “over a hundred” images of child pornography on his computer and said that he received the images by E-mail.

A forensic examination of Railsback’s computer and computer media confirmed that they contained images and videos of child pornography.  Specifically, the examination revealed that there were 57 images and 16 videos of child pornography on Railsback’s computer and 28 images and 1 video of child pornography on his USB Drive.  Railsback stipulated that the children depicted in the images and videos on his computer and USB Drive are real children, some of whom have been identified and rescued and others who have not.  Specifically, the NCMEC concluded the pornography contained in Railsback’s computer and USB Drive include 13 images of 13 children who have been identified as child pornography victims and have been rescued, and 8 videos of 2 children who have been identified as child pornography victims and have been rescued.

The jury deliberated approximately three hours before returning a guilty verdict on each of the seven counts in the indictment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Charlyn E. Rees and Kimberly A. Brawley, and was investigated by the NMSP, NMAGO and other law enforcement agencies associated with the New Mexico ICAC.  The 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.  Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

The case also was brought as part of the New Mexico ICAC whose mission it is to locate, track, and capture Internet child sexual predators and Internet child pornographers in New Mexico.  There are 61 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies associated with the Task Force, which is funded by a grant administered by the NMAGO.  Anyone with information relating to suspected child predators and suspected child abuse is encouraged to contact federal or local law enforcement.

And here are a couple of past New Mexican articles written years ago by colleague Tom Sharpe:

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