No less than 6 years and no more than 9 years in the Wyoming State Penitentiary – that was the sentence handed down to 53-year-old Huntley Rinck Tuesday in 4th Judicial District Court. Sheridan Media's Mary Jo Johnson has the story.
During the Sentence Hearing Tuesday, Deputy County Attorney Christopher LaRosa, representing the State, called two witnesses to the stand. First was Bruce Dexter with the Department of Criminal Investigation Internet Crimes Against Children unit out of Cheyenne.
Dexter testified that he had examined four computers and five total drives. Of those, one belonged to a neighbor and had nothing illicit on it. Dexter said that the others, however, contained 1,362 images that were classified as child pornography, focusing on genitalia of pre-pubescent children. While there were slightly more images of girls than boys, Dexter said it was about half and half as to the percentage Rinck had saved. Some of the images showed partially clad children in evocative poses, and there were many of girls in gymnastics outfits.
Dexter also said that there were 25 movies, all of which involved children in sexual acts. He testified that all of these were highly organized in folders and sub-folders.
Next to testify for the State was Detective Scott Brastrup with the Sheridan Police Department, the lead investigator on the case. He told La Rosa that Rinck said he'd subscribed to a news group on the Internet where he would view thousands of images in an hour, and then order what he wanted. Rinck had said he used the images as “research material” for the stories he wrote under the pseudonym “Wizard.” Brastrup then testified that he'd read many of the stories, and described the contents; most – though not all – of the stories contained sexually explicit plots involving children and adults.
Perhaps the most compelling – and heartbreaking – testimony from Detective Brastrup was that during his investigation, he learned that 79 of the children seen on the images were identified through the Missing and Exploited Children database. They were from several states in our country, as well as Europe and South America. It was evident that some were victims of sexual abuse, and several are in counseling because of the trauma they went through.
Rinck, who was defending himself, called one witness, Roxanne Myers, who told the Court she and her grandchildren had been friends with Rinck for about five years. She said she never felt uncomfortable leaving them with him alone. She didn't know about what he had on his computer until charges were brought against him. She said that even though she wishes he hadn't done that, she still doesn't feel he's a danger to the community.
During sentencing, Judge Fenn said that he considered and rejected probation. Along with the 6- to 9-year sentence, Rinck is to register as a sex offender and pay various court costs.