North Beach Man Pleads Guilty to Distributing Child Pornography
Over 700 Images and 70 Videos of Child Pornography Found on His Computers and Flash Drive, Including Rape of Children and 10 to 20 Images of Sexual Abuse of Toddlers
Greenbelt, Maryland - Lawrence Francis Robinson, age 30, of North Beach, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to distributing child pornography.
The guilty plea 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; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations; and Colonel Terrence Sheridan, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.
According to the plea agreement, law enforcement learned that Robinson engaged in four online chats with an individual on December 31, 2007 and January 1, 2008. Robinson and the individual exchanged over 21 images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of prepubescent boys. In one chat with the individual on December 31, 2007,the individual requested that Robinson resend videos of the rape of young boys. During this chat, Robinson sent the individual an image of an adult male overpowering and sexually penetrating a male child.
On November 5, 2009, FBI agents interviewed Robinson who admitted using chat programs and receiving videos from people he met on-line. Agents seized Robinson’s laptop computer which contained seven images and three videos of child pornography. Robinson stated that he had used a webcam on occasion when chatting with people online and had met five males in person whom he initially met from online chat.
On December 14, 2009 a search warrant was executed at Robinson’s home. Agents seized a computer containing 683 images and 57 videos of child pornography, the overwhelming majority of which depicted young males aged 15 and under. Approximately 10-20 of those images involved toddlers. Agents also seized a flash drive containing an additional 18 images and 15 videos of child pornography. Robinson was again interviewed and indicated that he had shared child pornography through peer-to-peer software on his computer. Robinson also admitted to having sex twice with a 17-year old male from Annapolis, Maryland and a 17-year old in Ohio.
As part of his plea agreement, Robinson must register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
Robinson faces a minimum mandatory sentence of five years in prison and a maximum of 20 years in prison, followed by up to lifetime of supervised release. Chief U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow has scheduled sentencing for June 6, 2011 at 2:30 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 www.justice.gov/usao/md/Safe-Childhood/index.html.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, ICE - Homeland Security Investigations and the Maryland State Police for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stacy Dawson Belf and LisaMarie Freitas, who are prosecuting the case.