Strewn about the suspect’s North Las Vegas bedroom, law enforcement officers found laptops, hard drives, and discs he would use to find, store and copy files that depicted children — some as young as babies — being “raped, abused and tortured.”
The crime was appalling enough that the 20-year maximum sentence would not “satisfy justice,” according to a sentencing memorandum written by the federal government. A judge today sided with prosecutors, and that’s how much time Richard Lee Saterstad will spend in prison.
Saterstad in March was found guilty of one federal count of child pornography after agents found about 4,500 images of videos that showed young victims being abused.
The sentencing memorandum outlines the antics of a suspect who would not stop getting in trouble with the law, even when he was under supervision in or out of jail.
A Metro Police investigator in November 2013 flagged Saterstad’s address, which he shared with multiple family members, including children, as a location where child pornography was being virtually shared, according to the memo.
Authorities served a search warrant the following March.
And while some offenders will download, view and then delete the illicit files, according to the memo, Saterstad would catalogue his collection in subfolders, even “taking the time to burn some of his collection onto discs.”
“Saterstad’s behavior and cataloguing shows a pathological addiction to child sexual abuse images and unchecked pedophilia present only in the rarest cases with which this court is faced,” the government wrote in the memo.
Three times a convicted felon before his arrest in 2014, Saterstad had a pattern for violating probation, the memo said. He was convicted twice for possession of stolen property, and after one of the arrests, he continued to pawn items belonging to victims.
Five years later he was nabbed for illegally possessing a firearm, which authorities alleged he carried as he and a brother illegally operated a marijuana grow operation, which was involved in the death of an apparent robber.
Behind bars for the child pornography arrest, authorities confiscated a letter that Satersad had written trying to get pornography to sell at the jail, the memo said. He’d chosen to represent himself and had used his standby attorney’s name to try to get the contraband “under the auspices that it was legal material he needed in preparation for trial.”
In another case, authorities found a letter he’d written on behalf of a jailed acquaintance in which the acquaintance tried to coerce a female minor to lie to authorities and stop cooperating with investigators, the memo said. The girl had been sexually exploited to produce child porn.
“Far from acknowledging the significant harm his actions have caused the victims of his child pornography offenses, or even preparing for his own trial, Saterstad instead conspired with another child pornography offender to continue to victimize a minor victim,” the memo said.