NORTH KINGSTOWN — A local man pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence on Tuesday to charges of being in possession of more than 7,500 images of child pornography, according to the Department of Justice.
Leon Tousignant, 67, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography and faces up to 10 years in federal prison; supervised release for a term of five years to life; and up to a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced on March 15 by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Mary Lisi.
Tousignant’s guilty plea was announced Tuesday by U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha, North Kingstown Police Chief Thomas Mulligan and Col. Steven O’Donnell, Superintendent of the R.I. State Police.
Tousignant admitted to the court that more than 600 images of child pornography that were discovered on his laptop computer in June belonged to him. Tousignant also admitted that several thousand images belonged to him that were discovered on a thumb drive storage device located in his residence after he was arrested by North Kingstown Police and had moved from the home.
Tousignant was living in his girlfriend’s home at the time the images were found. The images were discovered by his girlfriend’s adult son, who brought them forward to North Kingstown Police in June, Chief Thomas Mulligan confirmed. “He was so alarmed by the images and that this guy would be doing this at their family home,” Mulligan said.
Mulligan said that, based on the nature of the crime, Tousignant will likely have to register as a sex offender if he is ever granted parole.
The images, which contained pre-pubescent minors below the age of 12 engaged in sexually explicit conduct, have been submitted to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to determine if any known and previously identified victims are included in the images.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John McAdams.
The matter was investigated by the North Kingstown Police Department with the assistance of the R.I. State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.