ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Officials say a Roanoke man was sentenced Thursday in the U.S. District Court after using an online chat website to engage in sexually explicit conversations with a 12-year-old and later convincing the victim to engage in sexually explicit conduct over video chat.
According to a statement released by the U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday, March 4, 31-year-old Roger Allen Bellini pleaded guilty in 2020 to one count of coercion and enticement of a minor and one count of possession of child pornography.
Officials say Bellini was sentenced to 150 months in federal prison, which will be followed by 10 years of supervised release.
“As this case demonstrates, online predators are all too real and willing to prey upon our children using computers. We hope that today’s sentence continues the healing process for the victim in this case and reinforces the need for continued vigilance as we spend increasing portions of our lives online.”Acting U.S. Attorney Daniel P. Bubar, Western District of Virginia
In addition, according to court documents, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) discovered Bellini used an online messaging service to send and receive child pornography.
Authorities say forensic review of Bellini’s devices showed the man possessed dozens of videos and hundreds of images of child pornography. He later admitted to possessing child pornography, as well as communicating with a 12-year old child and using screen capture software to record his screen during his video chats with the minor. In these video chats, Bellini reportedly exposed himself and persuaded the minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct.
Officials say this case — which was investigated by the DHS-HSI — was prosecuted by Department of Justice Trial Attorney Leslie Fisher, Trial Attorney Eduardo Palomo, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachel Swartz.