Columbia Man Pleads Guilty to Producing Child Pornography
Defendant Showed Child Pornography to the Victim That He Sexually Abused
Baltimore, Maryland - Philip Wayne Barto, age 43, of Columbia, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to sexually exploiting a minor to produce child pornography.
The 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, Office of Homeland Security Investigations; Chief William J. McMahon of the Howard County Police Department; and Howard County State’s Attorney Dario J. Broccolino.
According to Barto’s plea agreement, in December 2009 a teenage girl advised the Department of Social Services in Howard County that Barto had been sexually abusing her from the time she was approximately 14 years old, and took sexually explicit pictures of her. On December 10, 2009, a search warrant was executed at Barto’s residence and sexually explicit pictures of the girl were recovered from Barto’s computer.
Additionally, over 300 videos and numerous images documenting the sexual abuse of minors were found on Barto’s computer. A number of the images and videos seized from the computer revealed material which portrayed sadistic, masochistic or other depictions of violence, including bondage of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Barto had shown pictures of child pornography to the girl in connection with his sexual abuse of her.
As a result of his guilty plea, Barto will 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).
Barto faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years in prison followed by supervised release for life. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett has scheduled sentencing for March 3, 2011 at 3:00 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 ICE, the Howard County Police Department and the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in this investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bonnie S. Greenberg and Kristi N. O’Malley, who are prosecuting the case.