A Liberty Township man has been indicted in federal court on child
pornography charges, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of
Robert A. Billings, 33, was indicted on Wednesday on charges of receipt of
child pornography and possession of child pornography, the U.S. Attorney’s
According to the probable cause affidavit filed by FBI Agent Marc Rochon,
early last year an investigation showed probable cause that, between Jan. 25
and March 16, the user of a certain Internet provider (IP) address had made
available for sharing—via a peer-to-peer file sharing program—multiple
images of child pornography. Information from the Internet provider
confirmed that the IP address belonged to Billings at his residence in
Valparaiso, Rochon stated in his affidavit.
On Nov. 17, a search warrant was executed at Billings’ home and forcible
entry made after “it was determined that no one was going to answer the
“Numerous computers, hard drives, digital storage media, and related items
were seized pursuant to the search warrant,” Rochon stated. “During an
on-site preview conducted by a trained computer forensic examiner, images of
children lasciviously displaying their genitals and children engaged in
sexual acts were found.”
The review further indicated that Rochon had downloaded at least three
videos—with a total running time of around three hours—between Sept. 1,
2011, and Nov. 17, Rochon stated.
of Files Alleged
Meanwhile, in his Dec. 27 ruling ordering Billings held without bond, U.S.
Magistrate Judge Andrew Rodovich agreed that the “government has
demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence that (Billings) is a danger to
Rodovich further noted in his ruling that, while the search of his home was
in progress on Nov. 17, Billings—in Florida at the time—succeeded in
remotely accessing his computer and deleting several files containing child
pornography, after being alerted by a neighbor’s phone call that agents were
searching his residence.
Those files were later recovered, Rodovich stated.
At the time of his arrest, Billings was employed as a computer technician.
“Given the prevalence of computers in our society and other devices which
provide access to the Internet, it would be extremely difficult to impose
conditions on (Billings’) release which would deny him access to the
Internet,” Rodovich added. “Under all of the circumstances, it is unlikely
that the Probation Department could effectively monitor (Billings) if
released on bond.”
If convicted, Billings is facing a mandatory minimum term of five years in
prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years.