Pierre man sentenced to 50 years for child sexual abuse and child pornography charges

PIERRE, S.D. — A Pierre man has been sentenced to fifty years in prison for child sexual abuse and child pornography charges.

Prosecutors say that between 2014 and 2015, Amin Ricker, 32, traveled on multiple occasions from South Dakota to Texas for the purpose of sexually abusing twin seven-year-old girls. The girls resided in Texas with their mother.

Ricker came to know them through a mutual acquaintance in 2013 or early 2014. Court documents say Ricker created photos and videos of the sexual abuse, which he later saved and cataloged on other media storage devices.

In December 2015, one of the girls was approached by a school counselor, who had concerns that she was being abused by Ricker. Based on the girl’s disclosure, the counselor notified law enforcement. The girls’ mother was interviewed, and made statements indicating she was aware of the abuse. In subsequent interviews, however, neither girl disclosed any abuse.

In February of 2017, law enforcement in Pierre received a series of tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) indicating that a local individual was involved in the sexual abuse of minors and the production, distribution and reception of child pornography.

Further investigation revealed Ricker was utilizing Instagram to share child porn and engage in sexually explicit conversations with other users, including minors.

Law enforcement conducted a search of Ricker’s residence, where they seized multiple electronic devices and digital media storage devices from Ricker that contained thousands of images and videos of child pornography.

The electronic devices and digital media storage devices seized from Ricker included digital media containing a folder entitled “Texas Twins 2015,” as well as a folder corresponding to the girls’ names, which contained multiple images and videos of Ricker sexually abusing the girls.

Ricker was convicted of all charges following a five-day jury trial in Pierre in March.

“Bringing this Defendant to justice is the result of tremendous cooperation between federal, state, and local law enforcement officers,” said U.S. Attorney Ron Parsons. “The federal penalties for child pornography and child sexual abuse offenses are severe for a reason, and, through his conduct, this Defendant has earned every day of the sentence he received today.”

Ricker was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service after sentencing.

This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative of the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.

 

Categories: Crime, Local News, South Dakota News

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