DENHAM SPRINGS MAN SENTENCED TO 30 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR ATTEMPTED POSSESSION OF CHILD PORT
LAFAYETTE, La.: United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that Brad Maruschak, 37, of Denham Springs, La., was sentenced to 30 months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge Richard T. Haik for attempted possession of child pornography. Maruschak is also required to complete five years of supervised release and register as a sex offender. Maruschak pleaded guilty on Dec. 17, 2012.
According to the evidence presented at the guilty plea, Maruschak contacted an individual who he thought was a 14-year-old girl in an online chat room in April 2010. The person chatting with Maruschak was in fact an undercover Louisiana State Police officer in Lafayette posing as a 14-year-old girl. From April to August, Maruschak took part in a series of sexually graphic communications and asked the 14-year-old girl for pictures.
“Unfortunately, the internet should not be the playground for predators. Child predators troll the internet looking for children so that they can lure them into abusive situations,” Finley said. “In this case, the defendant was apprehended before any children were abused. Hopefully, this case causes child predators to think twice before trying to connect to youths online. We will continue to prosecute these cases. The safety of the children in this community is a priority for the Western District.”
The Louisiana State Police investigated the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Myers P. Namie prosecuted the case.
This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a U.S. Department of Justice launched nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (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.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Homeland Security Investigations/Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE)
encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at (866) DHS-2ICE. Investigators are available at all hours to answer hotline calls. Tips or other information can also be submitted to ICE online at http://www.ice.gov/exec/forms/hsi-tips/tips.asp and to the FBI at https://tips.fbi.gov. Tips may be submitted anonymously. The Lafayette FBI office number is (337) 233-2164.