Former Local Race Team Crew Member Sentenced To Five Years On Child Sex Charges

Chris Merchant (Photo: Rhode Island State Police)

A longtime local race team crew member from Canterbury was sentenced Friday to five years in prison after pleading guilty to multiple sex crimes involving minors. 

Thirty-four year old Chris Merchant was arrested in January in Rhode Island after sending sexually explicit images to a person he thought was a 14-year old boy and arranging to meet the boy at Warwick, R.I. hotel for sex. 

Merchant was actually communicating with a member of the Rhode Island Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. 

In March Merchant pleaded guilty to interstate travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct and transporting child pornography. 

He was sentenced Friday in Providence by Rhode Island U.S. District Court Chief Judge William Smith to 60 months in prison. He will also have 15 years of supervised release following his sentence.  

Merchant had been a crew member for a multitude of Connecticut based short track racing teams for more than a decade. 

Merchant had also served as a Little League baseball coach and was reportedly vice president of the Plainfield Little League at the time of his arrest. 


  1. 60 months in jail, 15 years probation. Kind if a weak sentence for a child preditor, but at least he’s off the streets. Maybe someone on the inside will serve up so e justice, they don’t like diddlers in the joint.

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