FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
SEPTEMBER 7, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FORMER U.S. NAVY MECHANIC SENTENCED FOR
POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Steven Diles, age 42, of Asheville, Ohio, today to 21 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for possession of child pornography, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to the plea agreement, in September 2004 Diles was a mechanic in the U.S. Navy assigned to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. On September 9, 2004, an undercover New York Police Department officer (UC) entered an AOL chat room known as “I love older men.” Diles initiated contact with the UC, who he believed was a 14 year old girl who resided in New York City. During their multiple online conversations, Diles graphically discussed sex and Diles’s interest in traveling to New York City to teach the purported minor female about sex. Diles then wrote to the UC that he would travel to New York City on October 15, 2004 to meet her.
On October 15, 2004, Diles traveled to New York City, and New York Police Department officers arrested Diles near where he planned to meet the purported minor female.
After his arrest, agents with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) searched Diles’s home and seized computers and computer equipment which contained multiple visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. A subsequent federal search of an AOL account associated with Diles also revealed additional visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
In November 2004, Diles pled guilty in the Supreme Court for Bronx County, New York, to attempted dissemination of indecent material to minors. The guilty plea stemmed from a state court prosecution arising out of the October 15, 2004 arrest. In January 2005, Diles was released from state prison.
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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and New York Police Department for their investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Harry M. Gruber, who prosecuted the case.