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Monday, April 2, 2018

Military Employee Charged with Child Pornography Offenses

A military employee who resided in Maryland before moving to Japan in November 2017 has been arrested and indicted for the production, transportation, and possession of child pornography.

Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Stephen M. Schenning of the District of Maryland and Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office made the announcement.

Spencer E. Steckman, 34, who lived in Silver Spring, Maryland at the time the alleged conduct began, was charged in an indictment on March 26, with one count of production of child pornography, one count of transportation of child pornography, and one count of possession of child pornography.  Steckman had his initial court appearance earlier today and was remanded into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.  

According to the indictment, between Aug. 17, 2017, and Sept. 22, 2017, while in Maryland, Steckman enticed a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing child pornography.  In mid-November 2017, Steckman moved to Japan to work with Commander Navy Region Japan.  In Japan, Steckman transported and possessed child pornography. 

Steckman was detained by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) in Japan on March 27, and transported back to Maryland by the U.S. Marshals Service on April 1, to appear before the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

The charges and allegations contained in an indictment are merely accusations.  The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The FBI’s Baltimore Field Division and the Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff’s Office are investigating the case, with substantial assistance from NCIS.  Trial Attorney Jessica Urban of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Baldwin of the District of Maryland are prosecuting the case.  

This investigation was a 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 www.justice.gov/psc.

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 
Updated April 2, 2018