News

Eastern Shore Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison For Receiving Child Pornography


Also Admitted to Sexually Exploiting a Child to Produce Child Pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 9, 2010

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. sentenced Todd Patrick Willasch, age 30, of Ridgely, Maryland, today to 10 years in prison followed by lifetime supervised release for receipt of child pornography. Judge Quarles also entered an order requiring Willasch to forfeit his home which was used to exploit a child to produce child pornography.

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; Colonel Terrence Sheridan, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Caroline County Sheriff Phillip L. Brown; and Caroline County State’s Attorney Jonathan Newell.

According to Willasch’s plea agreement, on April 14, 2009, the Maryland State Police executed a search warrant at the Willasch’s home in the 14000 block of Fox Chase Circle, after receiving information that Willasch had sexually explicit images of a young girl on his laptop computer. Law enforcement officers seized several computers and external hard drives, removable media, cameras and other items. Approximately 31 sexually explicit images of the child were found on one of cameras. According to the child depicted in the images, Willasch took at least one of the pictures and told her that it was part of her pre-kindergarten homework. The child was under Willasch’s supervision at the time the pictures were taken.

An additional 95 images of child pornography, not relating to the pictures of Willasch’s victim, were also found on one of his computers. Willasch admits to receiving the child pornography in 2008. Several of the images depicted children under the age of 12 years old and one image portrayed sadistic or masochistic conduct involving a young girl. In a number of pictures of Willasch’s victim, the victim appears in positions similar to the images of child pornography discovered on Willasch’s computer.

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 thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Bonnie S. Greenberg, who prosecuted the case.

 

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