FORT WORTH MAN ADMITS DOWNLOADING IMAGES OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY FROM THE INTERNET
FORT WORTH, Texas — Michael S. Starowicz, 39, pleaded guilty today to before U.S. District Judge John McBryde to two counts of receiving child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. He faces a statutory maximum statutory sentence of not less than five years or more than 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine per count. Starowicz, who remains in custody, could also be sentenced to a lifetime of supervised release. Sentencing is set for March 2, 2012, before Judge McBryde.
According to documents filed in the case, in September 2010, Fort Worth Police officers responded to a “peeping tom” call at a residence in Fort Worth. The victims reported that their 10-year-old daughter reported seeing a video camera on the bathroom windowsill of their home as she was exiting the shower. Officers were once again dispatched to the home a few months later and they detained Starowicz, who had been seen filming from outside the victim’s home.
Starowicz admitted to secretly taking photos and videos of individuals as they showered. The defendant also admitted that there would be child pornography on his home computer. An examination of all Starowicz’s computers and related storage media items was performed and officers discovered child pornography. Starowicz admitted that he had obtained the child pornography via the Internet.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. 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.
The Fort Worth Police Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) are investigating. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex C. Lewis is in charge of the prosecution.
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