Russell Cherry, 51, of Anchorage, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Sharon L. Gleason, to serve four years in federal prison, followed by 15 years of supervised release, after previously pleading guilty to one count of possession of child pornography. Cherry worked as a neuropsychologist treating children in Anchorage until he was indicted in June 2018.
According to court documents, in the summer of 2017, Cherry had been using a file-sharing network to download images and videos depicting child sexual exploitation. Cherry became the subject of a federal investigation after APD detectives observed activity from an IP address that had distributed through the file-sharing network, a 4 minute video depicting the sexual assault of two children between eight and 10 years old. The investigation determined that the IP address was associated with Cherry’s residence.
On Aug. 29, 2017, APD and FBI executed a search warrant on Cherry’s residence, where several hundred images depicting child pornography were found on a number of different devices belonging to Cherry. During a statement to law enforcement at the time of the search, Cherry admitted to searching for and downloading images depicting child sexual exploitation for his own “curiosity.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Anchorage Police Department (APD) conducted the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of this case. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Alexander.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices nationwide and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.