Guilty plea in Salida child porn case

A Salida man and former school custodian pleaded guilty in federal court in Fresno to one count of possessing child pornography, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced Monday.

Richard Vandenakker, 38, worked for 19 years as a custodian at Sisk Elementary School in Salida. Agents said none of the images he possessed was of local victims.

Vandenakker had been charged with receiving child pornography and possession of child pornography.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney David Gappa, Vandenakker admitted in a plea agreement that he possessed more than 600 images of the sexual exploitation of minors, including prepubescent children. He also admitted he obtained the images via the Internet and that several images showed violence or sadistic or masochistic conduct.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and Stanislaus County sheriff's deputies searched Vandenakker's home July 11 and seized two computer hard drives, a laptop and a memory card.

Vandenakker is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 7 and faces a maximum prison term of 10 years, a fine of as much as $250,000 and a possible life-time term of supervised release.

Bee staff writer Emilie Raguso can be reached at eraguso@modbee.com or 578-2235.