News

St. Leonard’s Man Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison For Sexually Exploiting A Minor To Produce Pornography

Took 24 Sexually Explicit Pictures of a Prepubescent Girl

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 23, 2014



Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus sentenced David Wayne Sweet, Jr., age 24, of St. Leonard, Maryland today to 20 years in prison followed by supervised release for life for sexually exploiting a minor to produce child pornography. Judge Titus ordered that upon his release from prison, 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).

The sentence 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; Colonel Marcus L. Brown, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; 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 which contained 24 sexually explicit images of a prepubescent girl taken between June and September 2013. 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.

On April 16, 2014, Sweet pleaded guilty to a second degree sex offense in Calvert County Circuit Court. His sentencing in the state case is scheduled for July 11, 2014 at 9:00 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, Maryland State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force 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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