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Baltimore Man Pleads Guilty to Receiving and Distributing Child Pornography over the Internet and to Possessing Over 8,500 Images of Child Pornography


Images Included Sado-Masochistic Activities Involving Prepubescent Children

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 6, 2011

Baltimore, Maryland - Timothy Whitaker, age 45, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to receiving and distributing child pornography over the internet, and possessing over 8,500 images of child pornography and over 630 videos of suspected 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, Homeland Security Investigations and Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department.

“Child pornography victimizes children over and over again - starting with the initial assault, and continuing everyday for victims of this terrible trade,” said William Winter, Special Agent in Charge of ICE HSI in Baltimore. “HSI will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners here in Maryland and around the world to ensure that cyberspace affords no protection for those who seek to prey upon and sexually exploit our children.”

Whitaker admitted that he was a member of a publicly available peer to peer file sharing program, and had multiple images and videos available for other members of the program to download via the Internet. On June 2, 2010, a Baltimore County Police detective logged onto the program and downloaded a video depicting the sexual abuse of a prepubescent girl. On June 21, Baltimore County Police officers executed a search warrant at Whitaker’s residence and seized two desktop computers, two laptop computers, several hard drives, binders containing hard copies of child pornography and multiple pieces of removable media. Analysis of the items seized revealed over 8,500 images of child pornography and over 630 videos of suspected child pornography. These depictions included prepubescent children engaging in sado-masochistic activities and anal intercourse.

Whitaker faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz has scheduled sentencing for July 22, 2011 at 9:30 a.m. Whitaker will also be required to 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).

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 ICE - HSI and the Baltimore County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark W. Crooks, who is prosecuting the case.

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