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Press Release

Maryland Man Sentenced to Nine Years in Federal Prison for Distribution of Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A Laurel, Maryland, man was sentenced to nine years in prison today, to be followed by 25 years of supervised release for distribution of child pornography, announced Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur of the District of Maryland.

Charles Bertsch, 60, a former security guard at a local university, pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of child pornography before U.S. District Court Judge Paul W. Grimm on July 23, 2018.

According to admissions made as part of his guilty plea, FBI Task force agents in Maryland began an investigation into Bertsch after various law enforcement agencies downloaded child pornography via a peer-to-peer network from IP addresses, which led back to the defendant.  In an interview with law enforcement, Bertsch acknowledged that by connecting his computer and downloading such images, he was simultaneously enabling others to download child pornography from his hard drive.  A forensic examination of Bertsch’s electronic devices, seized pursuant to a search warrant, revealed over 99,000 image files and over 2,000 video files of child pornography.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office with assistance from the Baltimore County Police Department, Washington County Sheriff's Office and Worcester County Sheriff's Office.  This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Nadia Prinz of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Baldwin 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<

Updated April 15, 2019

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 19-385