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Chesterfield man convicted of attempted sex trafficking of a child

Richard T. Haas

RICHMOND, Va. – A Chesterfield County man is facing life in prison after being convicted Wednesday of attempted sex trafficking of a child.

A federal jury found Richard Todd Haas, 48, guilty of charges of attempted sex trafficking of a minor, receipt of child pornography, and possession of child pornography.

Haas attempted to use a prostitute to help him obtain young girls to sexually molest and produce child pornography. He would then sell the child pornography for a profit, according to court records and evidence presented at trial.

Those documents detailed that Haas, of the 200 block of Monath Road, first met the prostitute in 2012 on the now-defunct website Backpage.com.

“Working in conjunction with FBI investigators, the woman stayed in contact with Haas via phone and text and informed the defendant she had access to both an 8-year-old and 12-year-old girl living in Baltimore, Maryland,” according to federal investigators. “The woman obtained incriminating text messages and recorded conversations during which the defendant used evasive language about the plan and told the woman to refer to the age of the children as shoe sizes.”

The FBI investigation into Haas was cut short in August 2016 when investigators learned that Haas had recently sexually molested an 11-year-old girl in Chesterfield.

Haas was initially charged with four counts of aggravated sexual battery and one count of abduction.

Federal investigators uncovered more than 7,000 images and movies of child pornography during a forensic examination of his laptop. The victims include children whose identities are known, as well as many more child pornography images and movies involving unidentified victims.

Haas faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years and a maximum of life in prison when sentenced on December 6, 2018.