RISING SUN MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO SEXUALLY EXPLOITING A MINOR TO PRODUCE CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
Baltimore, Maryland – Michael Dale Irwin, age 27, of Rising Sun, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to the sexual exploitation of a minor to produce child pornography.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Colonel Marcus L. Brown, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police (MSP); and Cecil County State’s Attorney Ellis Rollins.
According to the plea agreement, on March 12, 2013, a witness reported to Maryland State Police that Irwin had sent an image to her cellular phone documenting his sexual abuse of a prepubescent minor female. The witness contacted MSP when she recognized Irwin in the image. Although the messages were set to “auto delete” and were no longer on the witness’ phone, with the consent of the witness MSP began monitoring calls and text messages between Irwin and the witness and directed all communication by the witness with Irwin. After Irwin sent the witness a video depicting a six to eight year old female engaged in sexually explicit conduct, troopers arrested Irwin at his place of employment and seized his phone, which had been used to text and call the witness. MSP recovered the images and video documenting Irwin’s sexual abuse of a prepubescent minor female and obtained the sexually explicit text messages that he had previously sent to the witness describing in graphic detail the sexual acts he performed on the child.
As part of his plea agreement, Irwin must 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).
Irwin 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 abuse of a minor to produce child pornography. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett has scheduled sentencing for October 23, 2013 at 3:00 p.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 HSI Baltimore, the Maryland State Police and the Cecil County State’s Attorney’s Officer for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra Wilkinson, who is prosecuting the case.