Maryland Man Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Traveling to the Philippines to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct and Producing Child Pornography
A Reisterstown, Maryland man was sentenced today to 300 months in prison and ordered to pay $125,000 in restitution, to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release, for traveling from the United States to the Philippines and engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor and to producing child pornography with the intent to transport the child pornography to the United States.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur of the District of Maryland; Acting Special Agent in Charge Cardell T. Morant of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Chief Terrence B. Sheridan of the Baltimore County Police Department and Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger made the announcement.
“Martin Hall traveled across the globe for the express purpose of sexually abusing children and creating images of that abuse,” said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski. “This case serves as a stern warning to offenders - no matter how far you travel to abuse and exploit children, or how sophisticated your efforts to hide your identity, our prosecutors, agents, and local law enforcement will work together to hold you accountable and bring you to justice.”
“As this case demonstrates, children are cruelly and sexually abused to produce child pornography,” U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur said. “Martin Hall traveled to the Philippines to abuse minors, filmed the abuse, and brought those images back to the U.S. We prosecute these crimes without the children having to testify because we have photo and video evidence of the crimes. This sentence, which includes restitution to the victims, sends a strong message that we will bring these criminals to justice to try to save even more children from becoming victims, and to help child victims recover.”
“Time and again we see these egregious offenders believe that they may hide their crimes across international borders or in the depths of cyberspace. Time and again, our investigators disprove such a notion, find these offenders and bring them before our justice system to face the consequences,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Morant. “While we cannot undo the harm and trauma Martin Hall has inflicted, I am pleased with today’s announcement knowing that the just burden of his crimes will weigh heavily on him.”
Martin Hall, 56, a former computer programmer, pleaded guilty on July 11, before U.S. District Court Judge Ellen L. Hollander of the District of Maryland to one count of traveling in foreign commerce from the United States to the Philippines between April 2016 and August 2016 to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a person under the age of 18 and to one count of producing child pornography with the intent to transport the child pornography to the United States between July 2016 and August 2016. Judge Hollander sentenced Hall earlier today and remanded him to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
According to admissions made in connection with his plea, Hall travelled to the Philippines and other countries in Southeast Asia for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual activity with minor females. Hall’s conduct included engaging in sexual acts with minors, producing images and videos of the minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct, and transporting the images and videos back to Maryland. Additionally, Hall used sophisticated computer programs to download and store thousands of images and videos of child pornography.
The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the FBI. This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Kaylynn Shoop of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Budlow of the District of Maryland.
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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and 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 http://www.justice.gov/psc.