Oct. 14, 2009
LEAGUE CITY MAN CHARGED WITH RECEIVING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY ORDERED HELD WITHOUT BOND
(HOUSTON) - Michael Sadowski, 51, of League City, Texas, has been charged with receipt of child pornography and ordered held without bond pending further criminal proceeding following a hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Wm. Smith, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. After a hearing today, Judge Smith found Sadowski had failed to rebut the presumption in law that he poses a threat to the community and a risk of flight.
Sadowski was arrested by inspectors of the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) on Oct. 8, 2009, after an undercover postal inspector delivered seven DVDs containing child pornography allegedly ordered by Sadowski via an undercover USPS website. According to the criminal complaint filed against Sadowski, on Aug. 20, 2009, Sadowski sent an e-mail to an undercover postal inspector who was posing as a child pornography distributor requesting a detailed catalog of the “exotic and special interest” videos advertised in a flyer on the website. Correspondence between the undercover inspector and Sadowski allegedly continued between Aug. 20, 2009, and Sep. 15, 2009. The complaint alleges the catalog sent to Sadowski described videos depicting children engaged in sexually explicit conduct and included an order form with prices ($15 per video) and instructions how to send payment to an undercover mailing address.
On Sept. 1, 2009, Sadowski allegedly mailed a handwritten letter to the undercover inspector and ordered seven videos, enclosed $116 cash and provided his name and home mailing address. The seven DVDs ordered described prepubescent and pubescent girls engaging in oral sex, masturbation and other sexual activity.
On Oct. 1, 2009, a postal inspector delivered the seven DVDs to Sadowski’s residence. Thereafter, inspectors, federal agents and local law enforcement officers executed a federal search warrant at the residence. The seven DVDs delivered on Oct. 1 were found in a wicker chest in the living room. The affidavit further alleges officers found and seized a desktop computer, more than 500 CDs, DVDs and video tapes, three video cameras, one digital camera, one pair of binoculars and one Bushnell Digital Imaging Scope. Agents also found approximately 67 8 ½” X 11” photographs depicting child pornography and/or child erotica. Several of the photos were from the series known to law enforcement to contain child pornography and child erotica.
According to testimony introduced during today’s hearing, a video camera on a tri-pod was found facing out the window on the front of his house and found to contain 36 videos of minor females outside of Sadowski’s house dated between June 14, 2009, to Sept. 29, 2009, ranging in length from several seconds to three plus minutes.
Receipt of child pornography carries a punishment upon conviction of at least five years up to 20 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000 to be followed by up to a maximum of a life term of supervised release during which the court can impose a number of special conditions designed to protect children and prohibit the use of the Internet.
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, 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 investigation leading to the charges was conducted by the USPIS with the assistance of the FBI and the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children task force run by the Pasadena Independent School District Police Department and League City Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Stabe is prosecuting the case.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation of criminal conduct, it is not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.
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