An Omaha man who claimed that he downloaded child pornography so he could make a report to Congress has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison.

Mark Ringland, 53, was found guilty in February of receiving child pornography following a two-day trial in the U.S. District Court for Nebraska. His prison sentence, handed down Monday, will be followed by 10 years of supervised release.

Agents with the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force received information in 2017 from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that a specific email address was receiving child pornography. Investigators were able to determine that it was Ringland’s email.

Searches of Ringland’s cellphone and iPad located more than 900 images of what was believed to be child pornography. It was determined that at least one of the images was received by Ringland between April 1, 2017, and Sept. 1, 2017.

Ringland told investigators that he downloaded child pornography as a “pill for pedophilia.” By looking at the images, he said, he would not act out on children himself.

At his sentencing hearing, Ringland blamed Google for providing a forum for child pornography to exist. He then claimed to be searching for the images so he could report to Congress that they need to change laws with respect to child pornographic content.

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kevin.cole@owh.com, 402-444-1272

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