By Robert J. Lopez
A former Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department employee was sentenced Tuesday to 18 years in federal prison for seeking to have sex with children and distributing child pornography, authorities said.
Mark Robin Rainwater, 46, was arrested on Oct. 12 at Shuttlesworth International Airport in Birmingham, Ala., with sex toys and children's toys in his luggage after he had arrived from California to meet two boys, according to federal authorities.
Rainwater was charged with possessing more than 200 videos and thousands of images of child pornography, "some of which involved babies, toddlers and prepubescent children involved in sadomasochistic and lewd and lascivious behavior," the U.S. attorney's office in Birmingham said in a statement.
Rainwater worked for the Sheriff's Department for 14 years in the information technology section, according to the U.S. attorney's office.
Rainwater thought he was going to have sex with an 8-year-old boy and a 13-year-old boy, authorities said. He had been communicating on the Internet and via text messages about meeting the children since August 2012.
"Rainwater believed he was communicating with a parent" who would allow him to have sex with the boys, the U.S. attorney's office said. Instead, he was dealing with an undercover police officer.
Authorities said a search of Rainwater's digital storage media and his email account uncovered 242 videos and more than 4,400 images of child pornography.