Hagerstown Woman Pleads Guilty to Possession of Child Pornography Which She Produced
Baltimore, Maryland - Patricia Ann Tasker, age 19, of Hagerstown, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to possession of child pornography which she produced.
The guilty 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, Homeland Security Investigations; and Washington County Sheriff Douglas W. Mullendore.
According to the plea agreement, in June 2010, Tasker moved into a home to take care of an eight year old girl. In August 2010, the mother of the girl reported to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office that she had seen images of her daughter engaged in sexually explicit conduct on Tasker’s laptop computer and provided the laptop to the Sheriff’s Office. After obtaining a search warrant for the computer, Sheriff’s Office personnel examined the computer and found an approximately 6 minutes and 40 second video, which depicts the 8 year old girl engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Tasker admits that she created the video by recording it on her laptop and that the victim engaged in the sexual activity at Taskers’s request, prompting and/or urging.
As part of her plea agreement, Tasker will be required to register as a sex offender in the place where she resides, where she is an employee, and where she is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
Tasker faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison followed by up to lifetime of supervised release. U.S. District Judge William M. Nickerson has scheduled sentencing for October 5, 2011 at 9:30 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 ICE - Homeland Security Investigations and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Judson T. Mihok and P. Michael Cunningham, who are prosecuting the case.