Chase pleads guilty to obscenity charges

chase-IMG_7327By Wayne Gates –
A Williamsburg man has pleaded guilty to two counts of Pandering Obscenity Involving a Minor in Brown County Common Pleas Court.
Richard Chase entered the plea on August 16.  Common Pleas Judge Scott Gusweiler accepted the plea and will sentence Chase on Sept. 12.
The two counts are felonies of the second degree and carry a maximum sentence of eight years each, along with a $15,000 fine each.
Chase was originally indicted in July for 123 counts of child pornography.
Brown County First Assistant Prosecutor Zac Corbin said in July that the charges centered around pictures of children.
“Those charges all stem from pornography involving minors.  These are all pornographic images found on electronic devices controlled by Mr. Chase,” Corbin said.
There are three separate victims discussed in the indictment that Chase is alleged to have photographed himself.  Corbin said that Chase faces more serious second degree felony charges in connection with those victims.
Chase was originally indicted on three counts of Endangering Children, five counts of Illegal Use of a Minor in Nudity Oriented Material or Performance and five counts of Pandering Obscenity Involving a Minor.  All charges are second degree felonies.
In addition, Chase was indicted on 110 counts of fourth degree felony Pandering Obscenity Involving a Minor.  Corbin said that each charge is based on a different single image.
Corbin said that Chase was arrested following a tip from a family that he had been taking illegal photographs.
A search warrant was executed at Chase’s home where electronic devices were seized and then examined for illegal images.