Former Middle School Teacher Pleads Guilty to Receiving Child Pornography
Federal Investigation of Subscriber to Internet Child Pornography Website Leads to Discovery of Teacher Who Was Surreptitiously Videotaping Girls in Changing Rooms
Baltimore, Maryland - Adam Windsor, age 25, of Hagerstown, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to receiving child pornography, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
“I am grateful to ICE for conducting the nationwide investigation that led to the discovery of a danger to schoolchildren in Maryland. As is often true in our child pornography investigations, Mr. Windsor's illicit activities were not restricted to downloading images.”
According to his plea agreement, Windsor, formerly a music and drama teacher at Ballenger Creek Middle School in Frederick, Maryland, paid $79.99 for a subscription to a website in order to access and receive child pornography over the internet. On April 24, 2009, as part of Operation Emissary III, which targets users of child pornography websites, Immigration & Customs Enforcement agents executed a federal search warrant at Windsor’s home and seized computers and other digital evidence. Computer forensic analysis of the digital media seized from Windsor’s residence revealed that he had possessed and received at least three videos, of varying lengths, and seven images of minors, including prepubescent minors, engaged in sexually explicit conduct and sadistic and masochistic depictions of violence/bondage. The items were received from the internet and remained stored on the computer.
There were three additional videos, each well over an hour long, that appeared to have been surreptitiously recorded while minor females were changing their clothes. The videos were taken during the time Windsor was working at the middle school, in connection with the production of a play. The minor females were participants in the play. Windsor directed them to change in rooms where he had previously hidden a camera. Windsor is currently facing state charges relating to this incident.
In addition, in on-line text discussion Windsor talked about his “great new business” that very few know about where “girls at my school email me pics of them, and i slide money in their locker lol.” (“lol” is a common on-line acronym that stands for “laugh out loud.”) Windsor goes on to explain that the pictures are not that good, but that they will get better, that what the girls are paid depends on the girl, and that he gets “very” horny looking at them. In addition to that chat session, agents observed over 1,500 pages of stored chat communication under different screen names where Windsor routinely assumed the on-line persona of a minor female between the ages of 12 and 16, sought out minor females in chat rooms, and solicited images of minor females naked and/or engaged in sexually explicit conduct. These pictures were frequently sent and received using the file transferring protocol of the chat or channel room.
Windsor faces a minimum sentence of 5 years and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, followed by supervised release up to life. U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. scheduled sentencing for December 1, 2009 at 1:00 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 http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/md/Safe-Childhood/index.html.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, the Hagerstown Police Department, and Frederick County State’s Attorney J. Charles Smith and his office for their assistance in this investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Judson T. Mihok, who is prosecuting the case.