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St. Leonard’s Man Pleads Guilty To Sexually Exploiting A Minor To Produce Pornography

Took 24 Sexually Explicit Pictures of a Prepubescent Girl While She Slept, or Nude in a Bathtub

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 24, 2014

Greenbelt, Maryland – David Wayne Sweet, Jr., age 24, of St. Leonard, Maryland pleaded guilty today to sexually exploiting 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); Calvert County Sheriff Mike Evans; and Calvert County State’s Attorney Laura Martin.

According to his plea agreement, on September 19, 2013, the Calvert County Sheriff’s Drug Enforcement Unit executed a search warrant at Sweet’s residence based on alleged drug violations. Sweet’s cell phone was seized. A subsequent review of the phone revealed 24 sexually explicit images of a prepubescent girl taken between June and September 2013, including pictures of the victim nude in a bathtub. Sweet had deleted the pictures, but law enforcement officials recovered all of the images.

Sweet was arrested on September 27, 2013. Sweet admitted that he inappropriately touched the victim while she was sleeping and took the photos.

As part of his plea agreement, Sweet 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).

Sweet and the government have agreed that if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Sweet will be sentenced to 20 years in prison. U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus has scheduled sentencing for June 23, 2014 at 11:00 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.justice.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the "resources" tab on the left of the page.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the HSI Baltimore, Calvert County Sheriff’s Office and Calvert County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristi O’Malley, who prosecuted the case.

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