A 62-year-old man pleaded guilty in federal court to child pornography charges after he admitted to using Instagram to convince a 10-year-old girl to send him nude photos and videos.
Barry Bryant Rossman, a current resident of Sonoma County but previously a resident of Oxnard, pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of production and receipt of child pornography and enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity.
Beginning in late December 2019, Rossman posed as a 21-year-old named “Ben” and used the Instagram handle “@itsben6969,” to contact a 10-year-old girl in Colorado. Rossman was 60 years old at the time, according to the United States Department of Justice.
He also created another character, Ben’s 13-year-old brother, whom he said was using his older brother’s account without permission and initially reached out to the victim.
The young girl and Rossman, as “Ben,” started communicating regularly over the app about everyday topics, but over time the conversations grew more sexually graphic, federal investigators said. Eventually, Rossman asked the victim to send him “sexually exploitative photographs of herself.”
They exchanged photos, videos and messages that Rossman saved. He then urged the girl to delete evidence of the exchanges, telling her he didn’t want his little brother “loving” the photos like he did.
The girl’s mother eventually discovered the messages and contacted police, the DOJ said.
In May 2020, law enforcement officers served a search warrant at Rossman’s home in Oxnard. During the search, investigators found evidence linking his iPhone to the @itsben6969 Instagram account.
Rossman was arrested and the case went to trial. On Tuesday, the first day of his trial, he pleaded guilty to all three charges against him.
He is due back in court on Aug. 23 for his sentence hearing. He is expected to be sentenced to at least 15 years in federal prison with a possible max sentence of life imprisonment.