Montgomery County Man Sentenced to over 12 Years in Prison for Receipt of Child Pornography

Also Admits to Sending Sexually Explicit Photos of Himself to a 14 Year Old Girl

August 20, 2010

Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. sentenced Joshua Howard Michaels, age 32, of Derwood, Maryland, late yesterday to 150 months in prison, followed by supervised release for life, for receipt of child pornography. Judge Williams also ordered that upon his release from prison, Michaels is required to register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Colonel David M. Roher, Chief of the Fairfax County Police Department and Raymond F. Morrogh, Virginia Commonwealth Attorney for Fairfax County.

“Cases involving adults who persuade children to engage in sexual relationships are the highest priority of our Project Safe Childhood program,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “People who collect child pornography often also seek to abuse children.”

According to Michaels’ plea agreement, beginning in about 2005, Michaels began downloading child pornography from the Internet using file-sharing programs. From 2005 through 2009, Michaels received more than 600 images of child pornography, including both photographs and video files. On February 19, 2009, Michaels had more than 600 images of child pornography stored on two laptop computers in his home. The images of child pornography documented the sexual abuse of children, including the penetration of infants, bestiality with prepubescent children, sexual bondage, oral sex, and other sexually explicit conduct.

Michaels further admitted that from September to approximately mid-December 2008, he carried on an online relationship with a 14-year-old female from Virginia whom he met in a teen chat room. During the course of this relationship, Michaels e-mailed the minor female sexually explicit photographs of himself and repeatedly asked the minor female to reciprocate by sending explicit photographs of herself, but he received none.

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 Details about Maryland’s program are available at

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur, who is prosecuting the case.

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