Anthony K. Mastrogiovanni, 30, of Crofton, Md., pleaded guilty today to the sexual exploitation of minors to produce child pornography.
The guilty plea was announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; and Postal Inspector in Charge Gary R. Barksdale of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Washington Division.
According to filed court documents and proceedings, between 2006 and 2012, Mastrogiovanni was a U.S. Navy reservist who sexually exploited more than 30 male juveniles, ranging from 9 to 16 years of age, in Maryland and Louisiana to produce child pornography. During that time period, Mastrogiovanni met and befriended his victims through his involvement in civic organizations or his military affiliation. Mastrogiovanni captured sexually explicit video of the victims on cameras hidden in his residences in Louisiana and Maryland.
Mastrogiovanni has been in federal custody since he was arrested by inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Las Vegas on July 19, 2012. A search of his Las Vegas hotel room recovered external hard drives containing over 30,000 images of child pornography, including video of his juvenile victims. That same day, federal agents searched Mastrogiovanni’s apartment in Crofton where they discovered a hidden video camera and video transmitting equipment as well as digital media containing additional child pornography.
As part of his plea agreement, Mastrogiovanni will be required to register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
Mastrogiovanni faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years in prison followed by up to lifetime of supervised release for sexual exploitation of a minor to produce child pornography. U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz has scheduled sentencing for July 31, 2013.
The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, with the assistance of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Naval Criminal Investigative Service and FBI’s Maryland Child Exploitation Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Keith A. Becker of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney P. Michael Cunningham of the District of Maryland.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ offices and CEOS, 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 to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.