News

Western Maryland Man Pleads Guilty to Distributing Child Pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 21, 2010

Baltimore, Maryland - Matthew Allen Skillman, age 29, of Oakland, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to distribution of 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; Harford County Sheriff L. Jesse Bane; Sergeant Dave Betz of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, Director of the Harford County Child Advocacy Center; Colonel Terrence Sheridan, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Garrett County Sheriff Gary Berkebile and Garrett County State’s Attorney Lisa Thayer Welch.

According to the plea agreement, on August 19, 2008, an undercover FBI agent, connected to a network on the internet, using a file sharing program. The agent conducted a search using terms generally associated with child pornography, which indicated that Matthew Skillman was sharing files associated with those terms. The agent downloaded eighteen of those files, a number of which contained child pornography. On November 18, 2008, a federal search warrant was executed at Skillman’s home and his computer was seized. On January 26, 2009, an image scan on that computer located 34 movies and forty-five 45 images containing child pornography, including images of pre-pubescent minors.

Skillman faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for distribution of child pornography, followed by supervised release up to life. Sentencing has been scheduled for August 3, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett.

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.justice.gov/usao/md/Safe-Childhood/index.html.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Bonnie S. Greenberg, who is prosecuting the case.

 

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