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Posted on Fri, Mar 11, 2011 : 5:59 a.m.

Former Ann Arbor real estate company owner sentenced to prison for possessing child pornography

By Lee Higgins

A former owner of an Ann Arbor real estate company awaiting trial in Canada on charges he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl in 1992 was sentenced Thursday to five years in federal prison for possessing child pornography.

Richard Fabian, 64, of Scio Township, who prosecutors say had more than one million images of child pornography, pleaded guilty in November to one count of possessing child pornography.


Richard Fabian

During his sentencing in federal court in Detroit, Fabian told U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland that he was ashamed and embarrassed for his crime that not only scarred innocent children, but affected their loved ones. Fabian said he has been focused on turning his life around by getting professional help and regularly attending Alcoholics Anonymous and Sexaholics Anonymous meetings.

“I do not and will not excuse myself for what I have done,” Fabian said. “I understand that we all have choices and the choices I made have deep consequences which I accept.”

Fabian said he has thought extensively about what he's done.

“I thought of prison. I seriously entertained the thought of suicide. What was I to do? The only way I knew to show my deep sorrow was to commit myself to change.”

On Feb. 9, 2009, ATF agents and Michigan State Police troopers were assisting Canadian authorities with a sexual assault and child pornograpy investigation when they executed search warrants at Fabian's home on Laurentide Drive in Scio Township and at Richard Fabian Co. Realtors on West Stadium Boulevard in Ann Arbor.

Investigators seized computers, VHS tapes, CDs, camcorder cassette tapes, photographs and other items containing child pornography, court records show. In addition to recovering about one million images of child pornography, documents say, investigators found more than 300 movie files depicting the sexual assault and exploitation of children. A large number of images portrayed sadistic conduct and depictions of violence, records show.

Investigators were led to Fabian after previously executing a search warrant at the home of 63-year-old Gerald Morgan of Clinton and seizing 18,000 images of child pornography and nine firearms, documents say. Included in Morgan's child pornography collection, investigators say, was a video depicting a 13-year-old girl being sexually assaulted at a park in Chatham, Ontario. Morgan identified the man assaulting the girl as Fabian, records show.

Fabian and Morgan were friends, documents say, who had met in the early 1980s and started photographing young girls at a park in Michigan. They later started trading pornography, records show.

Morgan is serving more than 12 years in federal prison after being convicted of possessing child pornography and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Both men are awaiting trial in the case in Canada on charges of sexual assault, corrupting morals and sexual interference with a person under age 14.

At the sentencing, Fabian’s attorney, Ray Cassar, said Fabian has support from his family, has batteld back from cancer and struggled with alcoholism, depression and sexual addicition. What Fabian needs most is to continue therapy, said Cassar, as he argued that Fabian should receive a short prison term followed by a longer period of home confinement.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Eaton Brown said Fabian has a long history of pursuing children sexually, leaving a number of victims in his wake. While never convicted, records show Fabian was accused of exposing himself to three 7-year-old girls in Ann Arbor in 1976. In 1984, he was accused of sending pornographic images of a 12-year-old girl to an undercover Indiana state police trooper.

Brown acknowledged Fabian's efforts to change his ways, but said a five-year prison sentence followed by supervised release for life was appropriate. “It is possible for the defendant to continue his therapy in the Bureau of Prisons,” she said.

The judge agreed and after imposing that sentence gave Fabian permission to surrender at a later date. Fabian has been out on a $100,000 unsecured bond. Cleland recommended Fabian be placed in the Federal Correctional Institution in Butner, N.C., where he can participate in the Sex Offender Treatment Program.

Fabian, who has been married for 30 years and is a father of two adult daughters, worked for more than 23 years as a real estate broker in Ann Arbor.

If convicted in the case in Canada, he faces a minimum of 14 years in prison.

Lee Higgins covers crime and courts for He can be reached by phone at (734) 623-2527 and email at



Fri, Mar 11, 2011 : 5:22 p.m.

According to Wikipedia (so it MUST be true...) here's the scoop on "good time" in the federal prison system: "Under U.S. federal law, prisoners serving more than one year in prison get 54 days a year of good time for every year they serve.[1] Thus, a prisoner who is sentenced to 419 days (365 + 54 days) in prison will only serve about 365 days. Thus, prisoners only serve about 87.1% of their total sentences. Some prisoners have argued that prisoners should only serve about 85.2% of their sentences, because 1 - 54 รท365 ? 85.2%, but the statute empowers the Bureau of Prisons to make the calculation, and the Bureau has determined that the 87.1% rate is to be used. The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld this rate as valid.[2] Good time is calculated after sentencing by the Designation and Sentence Computation Center. Rumors constantly circulate within federal prisons that a Good Time Bill will be passed increasing the amount of good time granted to prisoners, and indeed such bills are sometimes introduced.[3]"


Fri, Mar 11, 2011 : 4:59 p.m.

This is a guy who held on to his collection of over a million stills and 300 movies, some of which he likely made or starred in, for MONTHS after he was arrested for raping a child in a Canadian park, a rape his pal videotaped. There were no consequences for his earlier revolting and illegal acts described in the article. He had to believe he would continue to live his charmed, entitled life and be able to keep preying on little girls. His claim of sorrow and his "apology" ring hollow. He is sorry he finally got caught and held to JUST ONE of his crimes against children. He should be relieved he wasn't held accountable for all of them. I sincerely hope the Canadian court finally conducts a full prosecution of the rape, for which they have video evidence, the co-defendant, and the victim.


Fri, Mar 11, 2011 : 4:53 p.m.

And to think that Fabian's activities occurred over a 25 plus year span and nearly went undetected. If it were not for Morgan's stupidity, Fabian may have never been caught. According to an article I read in The Adrian Daily Telegram when (Morgan's) case started...Morgan moved from a residence near Clinton and left child pornographic images behind in the house he vacated... that were found by the new owners who contacted authorities. A resulting search of Morgans new residence provided the evidence to bring both cases forward. Sometimes stupidity can be a good thing.

zip the cat

Fri, Mar 11, 2011 : 4:29 p.m.

Unfortunately in the federal courts they, the judges allow persons sentenced before them to . Report at a later date. It allows the persons sentenced to prison to get there house in order before they report I would hope he is on a tether,or on a very short leash. Monica conyers,sam riddle on and on got the same,Report at a later date. Butt if I am not mistaken in the fereral prison sysytem you do the minimum sentence with no time off for being good. I could be wrong


Fri, Mar 11, 2011 : 3:23 p.m.

Unfortunately, he will probably have a relatively protected life in prison due to the fact that he is a pedophile. They typically keep them out of general population. Does this seems backwards? I believe that those who commit these types of behaviors are prosecuted much more harshly in most societies and deserve everything they get! We should make all prisons general population so that Darwin can rear his ugly head.


Fri, Mar 11, 2011 : 4:12 p.m.

I love your comments


Fri, Mar 11, 2011 : 3:08 p.m.

"It is possible for the defendant to continue his therapy in the Bureau of Prisons," Possible but NOT very likely ! All prison systems in this country fail in mental health care, in most cases the inmate gets worse and then we release them back into the public. Even if they do well in prison often the shock of freedom triggers the same actions. Get him REAL help or keep him away from children longer than 5 years.


Fri, Mar 11, 2011 : 5 p.m.

This is so true. If there were one piece of prison reform I'd like to see, especially with so many people incarcerated for crimes directly related to drug addiction and mental illness, it would be intensive reform of the mental health services. This is not coddling, or excusing the crimes. It is recognizing that we do the public no good keeping sick people locked up and worse, releasing them sicker than they were when they went in. Though I am inclined to hold the Fabians of the world to a different standard, protected as they are by money and community "stature" and who have the resources (strong family, stable employment, fancy house...) to attend to their illnesses instead of indulging them, this applies to them, too.


Fri, Mar 11, 2011 : 3:01 p.m.

"What Fabian needs most is to continue therapy, said Cassar" Really? But what all the girls between 7- 14 in Ann Arbor (and maybe Canada?) need is for this guy to be put away until he is no longer a threat. How about Love how these guys all "get religion" after they are convicted. How many times do we have to around the pedophile merry-go-round before we figure it out? BTW, I think his sentance of 5 years works out to about 2.5 minutes for each of his million+ pictures. I suspect he spent longer than that looking at them.


Fri, Mar 11, 2011 : 2:37 p.m.

What a terrible person.


Fri, Mar 11, 2011 : 2:11 p.m.

"The judge agreed and after imposing that sentence gave Fabian permission to surrender at a later date." Your kidding me, right?


Fri, Mar 11, 2011 : 2:55 p.m.

There is a three month waiting list for the Fed Pen. Also the FBOP is a much larger system than State Prison so placement is more involved. He showed for court so proving flight risk would be hard. A three month wait before reporting is typical in the Federal System.


Fri, Mar 11, 2011 : 1:44 p.m.

I really need to bit my tongue for fear of getting "censored" as there really is not Freedom of the Press. Suffice it to say there is no place on my calender for this guy! I have two daughters and I'd love to dance with this guy.

zip the cat

Fri, Mar 11, 2011 : 1:22 p.m.

WOW, Sure glad the courts in this county didn't have a say in this case. He'd be out with a slap on the wrist probation sentence . People who prey on miniors should be locked up for life.


Fri, Mar 11, 2011 : 1:45 p.m.

See comment below!