Former Santa Rosa Junior College police cadet sentenced to probation in child porn case

Ryan Imschweiler was arrested following an investigation that began in November 2017. He pleaded no contest in February to one count of possessing child pornography.|

An aspiring police officer was sentenced to probation Thursday after pleading no contest to possessing images of child pornography.

In February, Ryan Imschweiler pleaded no contest to one count of possessing more than 600 images of child pornography. He was also charged with one count of possessing obscene material depicting someone under 18 performing a sex act, but that was dismissed.

Sonoma County Superior Court records show terms of Imschweiler’s probation subject him to random searches. A criminal complaint also shows Imschweiler would need to register as a sex offender.

Court records indicate Imschweiler was sentenced to 36 months of probation.

Leonard Levine, who represented Imschweiler throughout the case, said his client was sentenced to 24 months of probation and its start date will depend on the outcome of an appeal.

Alan Yockelson, who’s representing Imschweiler through the appeals process, declined to comment Friday.

Yockelson will argue investigators had no probable cause to conduct a search of Imschweiler’s home prior to his arrest in November 2018, Levine said.

Levine said Imschweiler is “looking forward to moving on with his life.” He declined to comment on what led to his client’s arrest.

In November 2017, the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children unit and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children provided information to Santa Rosa Police about child pornography being downloaded and uploaded at a Santa Rosa location.

The tipsters provided an internet address that led police to a home where Imschweiler previously rented a room and the homeowners there denied downloading child pornography.

Investigators searched Imschweiler’s new address and found a tablet containing thousands of pornographic images of children. He was arrested days later.

Allegations contrasted Imschweiler’s aspiring law enforcement career. He had been training in the Santa Rosa Junior College police academy.

From 2015 to 2017, he was paid as a student employee by the college’s police department with the job title of cadet, a campus spokeswoman said in 2018.

He had also volunteered with the Sebastopol Police Department as a police explorer and then as a community service volunteer.

In 2015, the Boy Scouts honored Imschweiler after he called for backup on a radio during a police ride-along when an officer was attacked by a DUI suspect.

You can reach Staff Writer Colin Atagi at On Twitter @colin_atagi

UPDATED: Please read and follow our commenting policy:

  • This is a family newspaper, please use a kind and respectful tone.
  • No profanity, hate speech or personal attacks. No off-topic remarks.
  • No disinformation about current events.
  • We will remove any comments — or commenters — that do not follow this commenting policy.