Baltimore Area Man Pleads Guilty to Distributing Child Pornography on the Internet
Baltimore, Maryland - Steven Kruger, age 63, of Windsor Mill, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to distributing child pornography, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to his guilty plea, on February 27, 2006, Kruger “met” an undercover law enforcement officer who was posing as a 13 year old girl on the internet. Kruger immediately turned the conversation toward sex and continued after the “girl” informed him that she was 13 years old. Kruger continued to communicate with the girl on a regular basis and sent the girl pictures of himself as well as adult pornographic pictures. Kruger also continued to make references to meeting the girl.
Based on Kruger’s approaches, federal search warrants were executed on Kruger’s e-mail accounts. A review of those accounts identified an e-mail in which Kruger attached two pictures documenting the sexual abuse of a child. One image was of a prepubescent female performing oral sex on an adult male. The second image was of a prepubescent female having vaginal intercourse with an adult male. Kruger admitted sending child pornography, and admitted to having “hundreds” of images of pornography on his computer, at least 10% of which was child pornography.
Kruger faces a minimum mandatory sentence of five years, and a maximum of 20 years in prison, followed by supervised release for life. U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz has scheduled sentencing for March 20, 2008 at 2:15 p.m.
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 http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/md/Safe-Childhood/index.html.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service for their investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Bonnie S. Greenberg, who is prosecuting the case.