News

Essex Man Who Posed as a Woman on the Internet Indicted for Production and Possession of Child Pornography


Defendant Pretended to be a Teenager and Asked Children to Send Sexual Photographs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 17, 2009

Baltimore, Maryland - A federal grand jury indicted Douglas Lee Patrick, age 38, of Essex, Maryland, today on charges of persuading, inducing, enticing, and coercing minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct to produce child pornography and possession of child pornography, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

“Douglas Lee Patrick is a 38 year old man who pretended to be an 18 year old girl and developed romantic relationships with children over the internet,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “This case is a chilling reminder that people who chat on the internet often lie about who they are.”

According to the five count indictment, Douglas Patrick posed as an 18 year woman on a social networking site. The indictment alleges that Patrick told numerous minor females on the site that he was an 18 year old female named “Leah,” and that “Leah” was a lesbian. Patrick communicated with the minor females over the internet, through the mail and by phone. Patrick also told the minor females, that he, in his role as “Leah,” had cancer. According to the indictment, many of the minor females believed that they were in a romantic relationship with “Leah.” The indictment alleges that Patrick, in his role as “Leah,” solicited the minor females to engage in sexually explicit conduct and to transmit pictures of their genital area over the internet. According to the indictment, from December 30, 2008 through February 23, 2009, three minor females did send Patrick such images. In addition, the indictment alleges that on March 4, 2009, Patrick possessed child pornography on his computer.

Patrick faces a minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for production of child pornography and a maximum of 10 years in prison for possession of child pornography, followed by supervised release up to life. Patrick is currently detained on related state charges. He has not yet been scheduled for an appearance in U.S. District Court.

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 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Baltimore County Police Department and Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger and his office for the their assistance in this investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Bonnie S. Greenberg, who is prosecuting the case.

 

 

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