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Minot man sentenced for child porn possession

A Minot man was sentenced in North Central District Court in Minot on Wednesday after entering a change of plea to guilty to 10 counts of possession of certain materials prohibited or child sex abuse material (CSAM).

Richard Gordon Pierce, 24, Minot, previously entered in accordance with an agreement with Ward County prosecutors.

Pierce was arrested and charged in August 2023 after a cybertip led investigators to perpetuate a search warrant of his residence and of several devices in his possession. A total of 10 instances of CSAM were found on the devices involving children as young as 4 years old. According to the affidavit of probable cause, Pierce admitted the device belonged to him and there would be CSAM images on it.

Pierce appeared before Judge Douglas Mattson for his sentencing Wednesday. The parties began by reviewing the terms of the plea agreement, where they agreed to a concurrent sentence across all 10 counts of five years in the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, to first serve one year and one day. Mattson gave Pierce credit for 37 days already served.

Pierce will be required to complete three years of supervised probation upon release, register as a sex offender and have limited access to the internet. Mattson ruled that Pierce’s employment upon release required the approval of his probation and parole officer, and that he be barred from using sexually stimulating material. Mattson also assessed $700 in court costs and fees.

Mattson asked Pierce to explain how the material got on his devices, to which Pierce chalked it up to “wrong decisions being made.”

Mattson cautioned Pierce that should his probation be revoked, he would be facing all five years for each count which would then be served consecutively.

“You’ve got to be careful,” said Mattson. “When you wake up in the morning, remember that. There could be severe consequences should you venture out on that thin ice.”

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