News

Worcester County Man Indicted On Charges Of Producing, Distributing And Possessing Child Pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 5 , 2014

Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has indicted Laiton Blake Witkowski, age 41, of Stockton, Maryland, on charges of production, distribution and possession of child pornography. The indictment was returned on May 1, 2014. Witkowski is scheduled to have his initial appearance today at 1:00 p.m. in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

The indictment 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); Worcester County Sheriff Reggie T. Mason, Sr.; Colonel Marcus L. Brown, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; and Worcester County State’s Attorney Beau Oglesby.

The seven count indictment alleges that Witkowski produced images of two minor females engaged in sexually explicit conduct. These images appear to have been taken without the knowledge of the victims, including images of one victim who appears to be sleeping and images of the second victim as she is using the restroom. The indictment further alleges that Witkowski distributed and possessed other images of child pornography, including images of prepubescent children being sexually abused.

Witkowski faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in prison for each of the two counts of production of child pornography; a minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison for distribution of child pornography; and a maximum of 20 years in prison for each of the four counts of possession of child pornography.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

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 HSI Ocean City, Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) and the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Judson T. Mihok and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Podlesni, who are prosecuting the case.

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