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Man arrested for third time in less than a year on child-related sex charges

PROVIDENCE – A Hopkinton man arrested and charged in Rhode Island state court in July 2020 on charges that he allegedly arranged online to meet with a 14-year-old girl to engage in sexual intercourse, and arrested again in October 2020 after a Rhode Island State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force investigation determined that he allegedly downloaded and stored child pornography earlier in 2020, has been charged in federal court with possessing child pornography and with allegedly downloading images of child pornography in March of this year while on bail related to his previous arrests.

In April 2021, the ICAC Task Force received information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that child pornography had been downloaded in March via an online social media program, using an IP address assigned to an Internet subscriber in Rhode Island. It was determined by the ICAC Task Force that the IP address belonged to a residence where Christopher Leherissier, 36, resides. As a result of further investigation, Leherissier was arrested on Wednesday by ICAC Task Force members and Homeland Security Investigations agents on a federal criminal complaint charging him with possession of child pornography.

Prior to Wednesday’s arrest, Leherissier had been arrested twice in the past 10 months by members of the ICAC Task Force on sex-related charges involving minors.

In July 2020, Leherissier was arrested by members of the ICAC Task Force when he arrived at a location where he allegedly was to meet and have sexual intercourse with a minor whom he had been communicating with online for several months. The person he was allegedly communicating with was, in fact, a member of the ICAC Task Force. A smart phone seized from Leherissier allegedly contained numerous images of child pornography.

In a separate investigation, in May 2020, the ICAC Task Force received information from NCMEC that an individual had uploaded seven files of child pornography to a Dropbox storage account. It was determined by members of the task force that the files were allegedly uploaded from an IP address where Leherissier resided. A court-authorized search of the Dropbox account resulted in the discovery of approximately 55 files depicting child pornography. Leherissier was arrested on October 22, 2020 by ICAC Task Force members on a state charge of possession of child pornography. A forensic review of electronic devices seized during Leherissier’s second arrest allegedly resulted in the discovery of 42 images and 10 videos depicting child pornography.

Leherissier appeared today in U.S. District Court in Providence before Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond on a federal criminal complaint charging him with possession and distribution of child pornography. He was ordered detained in federal custody.

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