Man to prison for explicit photos of teen

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Sturgis man will spend 40 years in a federal prison for receiving sexually explicit text messages from teen girls.

Derik Rothrock, 35, was sentenced Monday to 40 years in prison and a lifetime of supervised release, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Rothrock pleaded guilty in March to receiving the inappropriate photos, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a Tuesday release. Under the terms of a plea agreement, four counts of enticing three children to produce child pornography of themselves and one count of possessing child pornography were dropped.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Rothrock met three girls ages 12, 14 and 15 in July 2013. He used a fake name and Facebook page to interact with the girls and told them he was 19 or 21. He sexually abused two of them and convinced all three to text him sexually explicit photos.

The federal sentence for receiving child pornography is typically a maximum of 20 years, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, but Rothrock will serve double that because he has a previous conviction for second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person under the age of 13.

After serving time for that conviction, he was sent back to prison when he violated parole by having inappropriate contact, which included a sexual relationship, with children.

“The longer we keep him away from society, and young girls in particular, the better,” U.S. District Court Judge Janet Neff said during sentencing, according to the U.S. Attorney. “In terms of receipt of child pornography cases being scaled from 1-10, this one is a 10 or more. I do not think I have seen a receipt of child pornography case more serious than this one.”

Rothrock asked for a sentence below the guidelines, saying he had been sexually abused as a child, but Neff denied his request.

The Kalamazoo Township Police Department, Michigan State Police, FBI and Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s Office worked with the U.S. Attorney’s Office on the case.

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