WASHINGTON – A Maryland man was sentenced to five years in federal prison after pleading guilty to one count of receiving child pornography through the Internet, Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein of the District of Maryland announced today. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake also ordered the defendant to serve a life sentence of supervised release.
Scott Carpenter, 44, of Dundalk, Md., pleaded guilty on April 15, 2008, one day after his criminal trial in Baltimore began on charges of receipt of child pornography, transportation of child pornography, and possession of child pornography. The charges were developed through an FBI investigation into individuals who use file sharing or peer-to-peer software programs to trade child sexual abuse images and video files over the Internet. Peer-to-peer networks allow users connected to the Internet to link their computers with other computers around the world and thereby share information and files.
According to Carpenter’s guilty plea, on Nov. 20, 2006, an undercover FBI agent signed on to LimeWire, a peer-to-peer software program, and entered a search term known to be associated with images of child pornography. Among the responses was one from an IP address later identified as belonging to Carpenter, from which the agent downloaded 14 images of child pornography depicting pre-pubescent children engaged in various sexual acts. A federal search warrant was later executed at Carpenter’s home, and the FBI recovered a computer used by Carpenter which contained more than 100 images and videos of children engaged in sexual acts. In his guilty plea, Carpenter admitted to using a file share program to receive child pornography, including a child sexual abuse image on Feb. 23, 2006.
The case emerged out of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney LisaMarie Freitas of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Cunningham of the District of Maryland. The case was investigated by the FBI’s Innocent Images Unit.