NEW BEDFORD — A New Bedford man has pleaded guilty to federal child exploitation charges after he was found with more than 1,500 files of child porn depicting victims ranging in age from infants to 12-year-old kids.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said 42-year-old Robert David Austin pleaded guilty to receiving and possessing child pornography on Thursday.

Austin was arrested in December 2021 after investigators found his phone was used to participate in groups sharing child porn on Viber and other messaging apps that commonly spread child sexual abuse material.

WBSM-AM/AM 1420 logo
Get our free mobile app

Authorities searched Austin's home on Nov. 3, 2021, and discovered child porn images and videos on two cell phones and a tablet, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

More than 1,250 photos and 450 videos of child sexual abuse material were found on the three devices, depicting children as young as infants and up to around 12 years of age.

Austin faces a sentence of at least five and up to 20 years in prison, with up to a lifetime of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

Sentencing is set for Aug. 16.

Here's How Many Sex Offenders Are in Each SouthCoast Community

While SouthCoast cities and towns are known for many things — great food, beautiful beaches, and fantastic events spring immediately to mind — like everywhere else, they also host some of the state's worst sex offenders. How many live or work in your community?

Here are the 25 area communities listed by number of sex offenders compared to population, lowest to highest.



Top News Stories for April 2023

There's always a lot happening on the SouthCoast, but April really took it up a notch. From illegal plants to Fenway Park raising the price of beer, here's a list of the most-viewed (and most-talked-about) stories last month.

WBSM's Most-Viewed Stories of 2022

What a year it's been! Check out the top stories of 2022 on and on the WBSM app. Click on the title or photo to read the entire story.

More From WBSM-AM/AM 1420