FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
JUNE 11, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
EASTERN SHORE MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO SEXUAL ABUSE
OF A MINOR TO PRODUCE CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
Investigation Which Began in Australia Leads to Maryland Arrest
Baltimore, Maryland - Roderick Gene Parks, age 42, of Berlin, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to sexually exploiting a minor to produce child pornography, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein said, “The police in Australia received a complaint, and immediately coordinated with the international community in order to apprehend the offender and rescue the child. This case is an example of international cooperation among law enforcement to stop the production of child pornography around the world.”
According to the plea agreement, on November 8, 2006, Australian Federal Police received a complaint from ANYwebcam.com, alleging that a male child was being sexually assaulted on a webcam by an adult male. ANYwebcam.com, an Australian Internet Content host, provided screen captures of the webcam images in its report to the Australian Federal Police, Online Child Sex Exploitation Team (OCSET).
Investigation revealed that on November 7, 2006, Parks produced and sent by webcam over the internet, live images of himself sexually molesting an 11 year old boy from his home. The minor boy was in the custody of Parks, who was watching him after school while his mother worked. The boy and his mother had been living with Parks since August 2006.
On December 1, 2006, Parks was arrested and remains detained.
Parks faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake has scheduled sentencing for September 12, 2007 at 10:00 a.m.
This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales 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 file://www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the Australian Federal Police, Online Child Sex Exploitation Team; Berlin Police Department; Worcester County Bureau of Investigations;Worcester County Department of Social Services; and the Ocean City Police Department for their investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bonnie S. Greenberg and Tonya Kelly Kowitz, who are prosecuting the case.