Angleton Resident Found Guilty on Multiple Child Pornography Charges
|Sept. 20, 2012|
GALVESTON, Texas - Phillip Edward Baker, 49, has been found guilty of receipt and possession of child pornography as well as accessing a website with intent to view child pornography, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Baker was convicted by U.S. District Judge Gregg Costa following a one-day bench trial late yesterday.
The investigation began when a German police officer conducted a search for child pornography on the Internet. His search revealed an IP address identified as belonging to Baker in Angleton, Texas. The information was forwarded to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Galveston, Texas.
According to evidence and testimony at trial, federal agents secured a search warrant, which was executed on Feb. 23, 2010. A search of the house resulted in the seizure of two computers, nine CDs, magazines and photo printouts. The next day, Baker was interviewed and admitted he viewed and received child pornography online. Baker also told federal agents that he started looking at child pornography approximately 6-7 years ago.
The forensic analysis of the evidence collected from the federal search warrant revealed that Baker had a Peer-to-Peer file-sharing account that he used to search for and download images and videos containing child pornography. Baker’s computers and CDs had 6590 images that contained child pornography. The images revealed instances of pre-pubescent minors, adults present with minors, sadism, masochism or bondage, penetration of pre-pubescent minors and lascivious displays of a minors’ genitalia. The analysis also revealed a substantial video collection of 31 videos amounting to seven hours and 34 minutes of video.
Baker faces a sentence of at least five and up to 20 years imprisonment and a maximum $250,000 fine. Upon completion of any prison term imposed, Baker also faces a maximum of life on supervised release during which the court can impose a number of special conditions designed to protect children and prohibit the use of the Internet. Judge Costa has set sentencing for Dec. 5, 2012. Previously released on bond, Baker was taken into custody following the return of the verdict where he will remain pending that hearing.
This case, investigated by HSI with the assistance of the Angleton Police Department as part of Operation Predator, 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 the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert Stabe and Sherri Zack.