Serviceman Faces Child Pornography Charges
Tampa, FL - Thomas Meyer (42, Valrico) was arrested earlier today on a criminal complaint charging him with transportation of child pornography, attempted production of child pornography, and transfer of obscene matter to an individual under the age of 16. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years, up to 30 years in federal prison for the production charge, a mandatory minimum penalty of 5 years, up to 20 years in federal prison for the transportation charge, and up to 10 years in federal prison for the transfer of obscene matter charge.
According to court documents, Meyer is a member of the United States Army and is stationed at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. The complaint alleges that between April 10, 2010 and May 30, 2012, Meyer used Yahoo Messenger to have sexually explicit chats with two minor females. One individual was a 15-year-old female in Pennsylvania. The other was an individual Meyer thought was a 13-year-old female, but who was actually an undercover detective in Kentucky.
According to the complaint, between September 2011 and January 2012, at Meyer's request, the female from Pennsylvania sent three nude photographs to Meyer's Yahoo account. According to the female victim, Meyer discussed meeting her at a hotel, so that she could perform sex acts on him.
The complaint further alleges that between April 2010 and May 2012, Meyer sent images of child and adult pornography, as well as an explicit web video of himself to the individual he believed was a 13-year-old girl. He also attempted to persuade, induce, and entice the minor to produce and send him sexually explicit pictures of herself.
A criminal complaint is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Innocent Images Task Force, MacDill Air Force Base Office of Special Investigations (OSI), Kenton County (Kentucky) Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police, Largo Police Department, and the United States Postal Inspection Service. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer L. Peresie.
It is another case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."