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Col. Robert Rice

Col. Robert Rice

A colonel at the U.S. Army War College is in Cumberland County Prison after he was arrested Thursday on 120 counts of possession of child pornography.

Col. Robert Joel Rice, 55, whose last known address is a motel in Middlesex Township, faces 120 counts of child pornography charges after court documents say more than 10,000 files of suspected child pornography were found on Rice’s laptop. Rice is the director of the DA Support Branch at the Center for Strategic Leadership at the U.S. Army War College.

Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed said the charges stem over a couple months of investigation.

“That’s the time it takes to do a detailed forensic analysis (of the computer),” Freed said.

The affidavit of probable cause said Rice’s wife, Marilyn Barbara Rice-Goldie, was interviewed on Feb. 7 when she told the District Attorney’s Criminal Investigation Division that she saw child pornography on Rice’s laptop computer. She turned the laptop into the Silver Spring Township Police Department, which was then turned over to the district attorney’s office, the affidavit said.

That same day, a search warrant was obtained to conduct a forensic analysis of the laptop. Upper Allen Township Police Det. Ryan Parthemore conducted the forensic analysis and was able to identify, without question, 120 files as being child pornography, court documents said.

The affidavit noted the laptop’s file system contained more than 10,000 images depicting children under the age of 18, engaging in prohibited sexual acts. Because of the large number of files on the computer, only 120 images were subjected to detailed analysis, court documents said.

Of the 120 images, 70 were discovered within the Yahoo! Messenger folder structure, with date/time stamps indicating the images were stored between April 27, 2010 and Dec. 22, 2010, the affidavit said. The images were not deleted and were still accessible through the user account.

The remaining 50 images were discovered in the Windows thumbcache — a database of images created by the Windows operating system, court documents said. The purpose of the cache is to generate smaller previews of various file formats when the folder is set to display in the icon view mode. Through this, the images were present on the computer and recovered during forensic analysis, the affidavit said.

After the investigation, Freed said Rice was arrested Thursday. The Army Criminal Investigation Command arrested Rice when he was on post, according to a statement posted on the Army War College Facebook by Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo.

Cucolo added the War College is taking the allegations seriously.

“The allegations, if true, are very serious,” he said in the statement. “The command is cooperating with the Cumberland County district attorney’s office. He is innocent until proven guilty, and he and his family will receive appropriate support. Meanwhile, his clearance has been suspended and his duties here, pending adjudication, will be with projects that do not entail access to classified information.”

Aware the allegations would draw public attention and could reflect negatively on those at the post, Cucolo wrote: “I will take every opportunity to tell folks I am very proud to serve with a group of magnificent professionals — you — who live the values of our profession, on- and off-duty, 24/7. Let’s think of Col. Rice’s family as we continue to give full support to local law enforcement officials as they conduct their investigation.”

Rice had his preliminary arraignment in front of Magisterial District Judge Elizabeth Beckley Thursday, where she set the bail at $100,000 monetary. He remains in Cumberland County Prison unable to post bail.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, April 9, before Magisterial District Judge Paula P. Correal.


Posted earlier on Cumberlink:

Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed today announced the arrest of Col. Robert J. Rice on 120 counts of possession of child pornography.

Rice, 55, is being held in Cumberland County Prison on $100,000 bail.

A statement posted by Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo on the Army War College Facebook page said Rice was arrested on post by Army Criminal Investigation Command.

“The allegations, if true, are very serious. The command is cooperating with the Cumberland County district attorney’s office,” Cucolo said. “He is innocent until proven guilty, and he and his family will receive appropriate support. Meanwhile, his clearance has been suspended and his duties here, pending adjudication, will be with projects that do not entail access to classified information.”

Aware the allegations would draw public attention and could reflect negatively on those at the post, Cucolo wrote: “I will take every opportunity to tell folks I am very proud to serve with a group of magnificent professionals – you - who live the values of our profession, on and off duty, 24 x 7. Let's think of Col. Rice's family as we continue to give full support to local law enforcement officials as they conduct their investigation.”

According to the docket sheet, the charges date to April 2010. Rice also faces a single count of criminal use of communication facility.

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for April 9 before Magisterial District Judge Paula P. Correal.


Posted at 3:38 p.m. Thursday on Cumberlink:

Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed today announced the arrest of Col. Robert J. Rice on 120 counts of possession of child pornography.

Rice, 55, is being held in Cumberland County Prison on $100,000 bail.

He is listed as a staff member for the U.S. Army War College's Center for Strategic Leadership and Development.

According to the docket sheet, the charges date to April 2010. Rice also faces a single count of criminal use of communication facility.

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for April 9 before Magisterial District Judge Paula P. Correal.

Check back to Cumberlink throughout the night as more details emerge.

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