News

Anne Arundel County Man Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Producing and Possessing Child Pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2011

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. sentenced Robert Feller, age 56, of Crofton, Maryland, today to 25 years in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, for sexual exploitation of a minor to produce child pornography and for possession of child pornography. Judge Quarles also ordered that upon his release from prison, Feller 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, Homeland Security Investigations; Colonel Terrence Sheridan, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; and Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Frank R. Weathersbee.

“Individuals like Feller, who possess and sexually abuse children to produce child pornography, exploit young children, robbing them of their innocence,” said William Winter, Special Agent in Charge of ICE Homeland Security Investigations in Baltimore. “This case is an excellent example of ICE HSI, the Maryland State Police and the U.S. Attorney’s Office working collectively to put a child predator behind bars. Individuals who produce and possess child pornography victimize the most vulnerable members of our society and the significant sentence levied today proves that they will not go unpunished.”

According to Feller’s plea agreement, Feller admits that from approximately the summer of 2003, when the victim was 11 or 12, he sexually abused the victim on multiple occasions over a period of years, in order to produce child pornography. According to the statement of facts, the Maryland State Police Internet Crimes Against Child unit began the investigation on January 14, 2010, after receiving a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Search warrants executed at Feller’s home and on a vehicle rented by Feller, on January 21 and 25, 2010, respectively, recovered computers, cell phones, zip disks and other digital media. A forensic examination of the computers and other devices seized located images documenting the sexual abuse of the victim and at least two images documenting the sexual abuse of other victims known to law enforcement. A total of more than 600 images of child pornography were recovered, including images of prepubescent children and sadomasochistic conduct.

As part of his plea agreement, Feller is prohibited from having any contact, directly or indirectly, with the victim, or the victim’s family or friends. Feller previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced on related state charges. Feller remains detained.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov. Details about Maryland’s program are available at www.justice.gov/usao/md/Safe-Childhood/index.html.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the joint investigation conducted by ICE - Homeland Security Investigations, the Maryland State Police Internet Crimes Against Children unit and the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office, with the assistance of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Ayn Ducao, who prosecuted the case.

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