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NILES, MICHIGAN MAN SENT TO PRISON FOR 30 YEARS FOR PRODUCING CHILD PORNGRAPHY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 10, 2011

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – Mark Owen Baldwin, 48, of Niles, Michigan, received a sentence of 30 years in prison for producing child pornography, U.S. Attorney Donald A. Davis announced today. Upon his release from prison, Baldwin will spend the rest of his life under supervised release.

The Honorable Paul L. Maloney, Chief U.S. District Judge, presided over the sentencing. He declared Baldwin to be a “major threat to the public” and a “substantial risk to youngsters.” “Only a sentence at the statutory maximum is just punishment.” In commenting on Baldwin’s conduct, Judge Maloney said, “The horrific and depraved nature is just off the chart.” Judge Maloney shared that Baldwin’s case was in the top 1 or 2 worst cases in his 16 years’ experience on the bench. Baldwin was sentenced to a total of 360 months of incarceration, with 300 months to be served concurrent with his state sentence and 60 months to be served consecutively. After his release from prison, Baldwin must serve the rest of his life on supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $12,000 in restitution to the victim.

Baldwin came to the attention of the Michigan State Police, on April 28, 2010, when a concerned citizen filed a complaint about a photograph found on the Internet. The photograph was of a naked man with a naked juvenile female. Baldwin was recognized and identified by a Niles City Police officer. Baldwin was immediately confronted by officers and he admitted to taking pictures of the nine-year old girl while she was naked. He was arrested and has been in custody since. The Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force conducted a forensic examination of his computer and found pictures of Baldwin sexually assaulting the child. The FBI later determined that pictures of the child had been shared on the Internet and found in child pornography collections in Texas, Massachusetts, Florida, and the Netherlands.

This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, county prosecutor’s offices, the ICAC task force, federal, state, and local law enforcement are working closely together to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children. The partners in Project Safe Childhood work to educate local communities about the dangers of online child exploitation, and to teach children how to protect themselves. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit the following web site: www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

The investigation of this matter was conducted by the FBI and the Michigan State Police, with the assistance of the Niles City Police Department and Lutheran Social Services. Prosecution of this case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Mekaru with the cooperation of the Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office.


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