FORMER NAVY RESERVIST PLEADS GUILTY TO THE SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF MINORS TO PRODUCE CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
Baltimore, Maryland - Anthony K. Mastrogiovanni, 30, of Crofton, MD, pleaded guilty today to the sexual exploitation of minors to produce child pornography.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; and Postal Inspector in Charge Gary R. Barksdale of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service - Washington Division.
According to filed court documents and proceedings, between 2006 and 2012, Mastrogiovanni was a U.S. Navy reservist who sexually exploited more than 30 male juveniles, ranging from 9 to 16 years of age, in Maryland and Louisiana in order to produce child pornography. During that time period, Mastrogiovanni met and befriended his victims through his involvement in civic organizations or his military affiliation. Mastrogiovanni captured sexually explicit video of the victims on cameras hidden in his residences in Louisiana and Maryland.
Mastrogiovanni has been in federal custody since he was arrested by Inspectors of the United States Postal Inspection Service in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 19, 2012. A search of his Las Vegas hotel room recovered external hard drives containing over 30,000 images of child pornography, including video of his juvenile victims. That same day, federal agents searched Mastrogiovanni’s apartment in Crofton, MD, where they discovered a hidden video camera and video transmitting equipment as well as digital media containing additional child pornography.
As part of his plea agreement, Mastrogiovanni will be required to register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
Mastrogiovanni faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years in prison followed by up to lifetime of supervised release for sexual exploitation of a minor to produce child pornography. U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz has scheduled sentencing for July 31, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the "resources" tab on the left of the page.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for its work in the investigation and thanked the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and FBI's Maryland Child Exploitation Taskforce for their assistance. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Trial Attorney Keith A. Becker of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney P. Michael Cunningham, who are prosecuting the case.