News

Former NASA Contractor Pleads Guilty to Using His Work Computer to Possess Child Pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 18, 2010

Greenbelt, Maryland - Cecil M. Graham, age 67, of Laurel, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to possession of child pornography, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

According to Graham’s plea agreement, he worked as a contractor assigned to NASA, most recently as a Hubble Space Telescope Planning and Scheduling Manager. Investigation revealed that from May 2009 through at least January 2010, Graham used a NASA computer in his office to connect to websites depicting child pornography and to conduct internet searches for terms associated with child pornography. On April 15, 2010, search warrants were issued for Graham’s office and his residence. Analysis of the computer material obtained from Graham’s office revealed that he had been downloading child pornography and child erotica since at least August 5, 2000. Deleted images of child pornography were recovered from the computers in Graham’s office as well as from a thumb drive and disks seized from Graham’s home. Agents also recovered approximately 21 pages of printed digital images of minor females engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Graham possessed between 10 and 150 images of child pornography.

Graham faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, followed by supervised release of at least five years and up to life. Chief U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow has scheduled sentencing for November 29, 2010 at 9:00 a.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 NASA Office of Inspector General, Computer Crimes Division for their investigative work and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gina L. Simms and Arun Rao, who are prosecuting the case.

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