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Child porn charges net Johnson City man five years in prison

Matthew Lane • Apr 28, 2019 at 2:00 PM

GREENEVILLE — A Johnson City man using the screen names “wanting” and “needing” in online chat rooms has been sentenced to 60 months in prison for possessing child pornography.

Tommy Wayne Riner received the five-year sentence in U.S. District Court in Greeneville last week. In January 2018, Riner faced a four-count indictment charging him with receiving, possessing, accessing and distributing child pornography.

Riner pleaded guilty to accessing child pornography the following February. He faced up to 10 years in prison. Prosecutors had recommended a prison sentence of 97 to 120 months.

According to court documents, in May 2015 Canadian law enforcement officers began investigating an Internet program being used to share and view child pornography. The software allows people to create “rooms” where they could videoconference with other users, creating either permanent or temporary user names when logged in.

Law enforcement agents were able to determine that one IP address could have multiple names associated with a particular session.

Court records state that on Nov. 10, 2015, U.S. Homeland Security investigators entered one of the “rooms” and found users streaming videos showing children under the age of 12 engaged in sexual conduct.

There were 29 videos displayed during the session; one included a toddler.

During the investigation, an agent observed a user with the screen name “needing” broadcasting live to the other users. “Needing” was later determined to be Riner. Agents also determined another user in the room with the screen name “wanting” was also Riner.

Agents executed a search warrant on Riner’s residence and found a number of computers and mobile devices with child pornography, including an iPhone 6 Plus and an Apple MacBook Air. Riner’s search parameters in the sharing program were for 10- to 12-year-old boys, court records state.

According to the plea agreement, Riner told investigators he became interested in child porn in his 50s and believed it was because he was molested as a child. However, Riner told law enforcement he did not remember being molested.

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