On May 14, United States district judge for the District of Maryland sentenced a 48-year-old Maryland resident on child pornography charges. The man will serve six years of imprisonment followed by 10 years of parole. The judge also ordered that he register as a sex offender where he lives, works and goes to school following his release from prison, based on the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.
In accordance with a plea agreement, the man pleaded guilty. He admitted that he distributed 16 videos and six pictures that purportedly contained child pornography on July 25, 2012. The arrest came about as the result of Project Safe Childhood, a federal initiative designed to reduce child exploitation, but no further details were released regarding the investigation.
The FBI searched the man's home on Sept. 18, 2012, after obtaining a search warrant. They allegedly found more than 1,100 videos and 4,700 pictures of purported children engaged in conduct that was considered sexually explicit. Prosecutors allege that some of the children depicted were under the age of 12 years old.
This case is interesting in that it illustrates how a criminal defense attorney may be able to help negotiate a favorable plea bargain. A person who is found in possession of child pornography may face criminal charges for each individual item that is located. Following conviction, sentences may be imposed consecutively, which could lead to a person being locked up for a long period of time. An attorney may be able to argue for concurrent sentences or reduced charges, which can help minimize jail time. Alternatively, where evidence is obtained pursuant to a search warrant, an attorney may be able to review the affidavit and argue to have evidence suppressed, which could lead to a dismissal.
Source: Southern Maryland Online, "Lusby Man Sentenced to 6 Years in Prison for Federal Sex Crimes", May 22, 2013