FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
APRIL 27, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JOPPA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO
POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
Baltimore, Maryland - David Barry Mentzer, age 51, of Joppa, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to possession of child pornography, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to the plea agreement presented to the court, on March 22 and March 24, 2006, search warrants were executed at defendant’s home related to charges filed against Mentzer in Harford County Circuit Court involving the molestation of a 12 year old boy who was a piano student of his wife. During the execution of the search warrants, several computers belonging to the defendant were seized and found to contain depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, including at least 33 images involving pre-pubescent children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The visual depictions were transported through the Internet.
Mentzer has two previous convictions for sexual offenses against children and therefore faces a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of 20 years in prison and a lifetime of supervised release for possession of child pornography. U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz has scheduled sentencing for June 8, 2007 at 9:00 a.m. Mentzer remains in custody on the state charges.
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 investigative work performed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Harford County Child Advocacy Center. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Bonnie S. Greenberg, who is prosecuting the case.