FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
FEBRUARY 21, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PASADENA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO RECEIPT OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
AND IS SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS IN PRISON
Baltimore, Maryland - James Leonard Watson, age 44, of Pasadena, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to receipt of child pornography and was sentenced to 15 years in prison followed by supervised release for life, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. Chief U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg also ordered that Watson must register as a sex offender in any community in which he may reside.
According to the plea agreement presented to the court, on May 13, 2005 in an on-line session with an undercover FBI agent posing as a person seeking child pornography, Watson advised that he had a huge collection of child pornography, and that he only traded for new or rare images. Investigation revealed that the defendant had been seeking child pornography on the Internet since at least May of 2003. The investigation also revealed that Watson had a 1981 conviction for a third degree sexual offense against a child in Anne Arundel County.
On June 15, 2005 agents seized 17 hard drives and CPUs during a search of Watson’s home. Two hard drives and one CPU contained hundreds of thousands of images of child pornography. The majority of the images were of prepubescent children under the age of 12. Several images depicted minors subjected to bondage and sadomasochistic abuse. The examination showed that in the month of April, 2005, Watson had received hundreds of images of child pornography, including dozens of previously identified images of known child victims.
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 Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Tamera L. Fine, who prosecuted the case.