War College colonel charged with 120 counts of child pornography

A U.S. Army Colonel has been arrested on 120 counts of possessing child pornography after his wife tipped off investigators, according to Cumberland County District Attorney Dave Freed.

Colonel Robert J. Rice was in Cumberland County Prison on $100,000 secured bail Thursday evening. Freed said his office found 10,000 pornographic images on Rice's personal computer depicting children engaging in prohibited sexual acts.  

Rice, 55, of Carlisle, serves as a staff officer engaged in developing war games at the U.S. Army War College's Center for Strategic Leadership and Development.

Freed said his office was tipped off a couple of months ago that there were images of suspected child pornography on a laptop computer that belonged to Rice. 

In a statement on the War College's Facebook page, U.S. Army War College Commandant Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo, said that Rice was arrested on post Thursday by the Army's Criminal Investigation Division and transferred to the Cumberland County detective's office.

“The allegations, if true, are very serious,” Cucolo wrote. “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.”

Rice's clearance has been suspended and, once the case is over, his duties will not include access to classified information.

Freed said they took several months to complete the investigation because they knew Rice did not have contact with children.

“It became a little less of a time crunch and I wanted to make sure that, understanding the position this person had, that [the case] was very solid,” he said.

Freed said the investigation included a forensic review of the images to ensure that they were children. He said they stopped examining the images after they were sure they had 120 counts against Rice.

Freed said there is no evidence that Rice was involved in the creation of child pornography.

In addition to 120 counts of child pornography, Rice was charged with a single count of criminal use of a communications facility. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for April 9.

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