FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
OCTOBER 18, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DEFENDANTS FACE FEDERAL CHARGES IN FOUR MARYLAND CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CASES
Sentencing, Guilty Plea and Indictments in Project Safe Childhood Cases
Baltimore, Maryland – The Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office today announced significant developments in four Project Safe Childhood cases: two indictments, a guilty plea and a sentencing.
“These four Maryland cases highlight the troubling scope of the danger to our children. With the growth of the internet, children increasingly are exposed to pornography, sexual solicitations and abuse. In addition to working with our state and local partners to make child exploitation a federal priority, the Project Safe Childhood program informs parents about how they can keep their children safe. I encourage parents to consult www.netsmartz.org for information about the dangers that children face,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.
SNOWDEN SENTENCED TO 30 YEARS
U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Fabrice Snowden, age 42, of Edgewood, Maryland, today to 30 years in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release for sexually exploiting a minor to produce child pornography. Judge Blake also ordered that upon his release from prison, Snowden must register as a sex offender. According to the statement of facts presented to the court, Snowden drove a minor female in his car to a parking lot near an elementary school in Harford County on December 25, 2006 and coerced to engage in sexual acts with him. Snowden used his video/camera phone to videotape the sexual activity. The next day, law enforcement officers searched Snowden’s residence and car, and recovered the video/camera phone, which contained six files of child pornography involving the minor female. The victim told law enforcement that Snowden had frequently forced her to perform such sexual acts which he recorded at his apartment, hotels, storage facilities in Baltimore County and secluded parking lots. To prepare for the recordings, Snowden would make the child watch pornography videos and act out the sexual scenes.
MANNING PLEADS GUILTY TO RECEIPT OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
In a separate proceeding, John Ray Manning, age 28, of McHenry, Maryland pleaded guilty today to receipt of child pornography. According to the statement of facts presented at his guilty plea, between October 11, 2005 and September 20, 2006, Manning used his girlfriend’s computer to receive and possess child pornography over 2,000 images depicting child pornography and approximately 75 videos containing child pornography. A large number of the images depicted prepubescent females and there were also images depicting bondage. Manning used this computer to trade images of child pornography over the Internet, utilizing various file sharing programs, including Limewire and Hello. Manning stated that he had previously viewed child pornography at the public library.
Manning faces a a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum of 20 years, followed by a term of supervised release of not more than life. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennet has scheduled sentencing for January 11, 2008 at 2:00 p.m.
CORDELL INDICTED FOR PRODUCTION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
Today, an indictment was returned charging Larry Cordell, age 41, of Frederick, Maryland, with three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor to produce child pornography. According to the three count indictment, Cordell knowingly persuaded and coerced three minor males to engage in sexually explicit conduct on December 31, 2006, in order to videotape that conduct. No court appearance has been scheduled and Cordell is detained on related state charges.
If convicted, Cordell faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 25 years in prison and a maximum of 50 years in prison, followed by a lifetime of supervised release on each of three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor to produce child pornography.
GAYER INDICTED FOR PRODUCTION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
On Wednesday, a federal grand jury indicted Stephen Michael Gayer, age 37, of Baltimore with eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor to produce child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. According to the indictment and court documents, Gayer coerced five minor females to engage in sexually explicit conduct and took photographs of the victims engaging in that conduct. In addition, Gayer is charged with possessing child pornography. Gayer is detained. No court appearance has yet been scheduled.
Gayer faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release on each of eight counts of for production of child pornography and 10 years in prison for possession of child pornography.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
These cases were brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Department of Justice launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States 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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Baltimore County Police Department, Harford County Sheriff’s Office, Frederick City Police Department, Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, Garrett County Sheriff’s Office and Maryland State Police for their investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Kwame J. Manley, who is prosecuting the Snowden and Cordell cases; and Assistant U.S. Attorney Bonnie S. Greenberg, who is prosecuting the Manning case and the Gayer case, along with Assistant U.S. Attorney Tonya Kelly Kowitz.