Clear Spring Man Pleads Guilty to Sexually Exploiting Two Girls under the Age of 12 to Produce Child Pornography
Sexual Exploitation of Minors in Maryland Discovered After Receiving
a Tip from Law Enforcement Authorities in Spain
Baltimore, Maryland - Kenneth Eugene Norris, age 52, of Clear Spring, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to sexually exploiting a minor to produce child pornography.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; and Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
According to the plea agreement, after receiving information that child pornography was being downloaded from file sharing web sites identified by law enforcement authorities in Spain, on September 23, 2010, FBI agents executed a search warrant at Norris’s residence. Analysis of numerous computers, hard drives and memory storage devices seized from the residence revealed that a CD contained videos of two girls under the age of 12 engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The nude females performed various gymnastic exercises as directed by Norris. The young girls were under the supervisory control of Norris when the images were produced in Maryland.
As part of his plea agreement, Norris 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).
As part of the plea agreement, Norris and the government have agreed that if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Norris will be sentenced to 15 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release. U.S. District Judge Benson Everett Legg has scheduled sentencing for October 19, 2011 at 2:00 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 www.justice.gov/usao/md/Safe-Childhood/index.html.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI for its work in the investigation and thanked law enforcement authorities in Spain for their assistance. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney James G. Warwick, who prosecuted the case.