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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 25, 2022

District Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Child Exploitation and Child Sexual Abuse Offenses

Defendant Was the Child’s Stepfather

            WASHINGTON – A 63-year-old man, of Southeast Washington, was sentenced today to life in prison for federal child exploitation offenses, including production of child pornography, enticement of a minor, and possession of child pornography, as well as multiple counts of first- degree child sexual abuse and first-degree sexual abuse with aggravating circumstances. 

            The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Wayne A. Jacobs, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office Criminal Division, and Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            The defendant, who is not identified here to protect the privacy of the victim, was found guilty by a jury in October 2021, following a trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He was sentenced by the Honorable Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell.

            According to the government’s evidence, the defendant repeatedly sexually abused his stepdaughter from May 2016 until April 2017. The victim was 12 and 13 years old at the time and living with her mother, younger sister, and the defendant at the defendant’s apartment. The defendant also directed the victim to take photographs of herself constituting child sexual abuse material and to transfer those photographs to the defendant’s cell phones. Additionally, he stored these sexually explicit photographs on his cell phones and computer. These photographs, as well as dozens of text messages to the victim corroborating the sexual abuse, were recovered from the defendant’s electronic devices by law enforcement. 

            The defendant was arrested in May 2019 and was subsequently detained pending trial. 

            The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Graves, Special Agent in Charge Jacobs, and Chief Contee acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the FBI-Washington Field Office’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, the Metropolitan Police Department’s Youth and Family Services Division, and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section. The FBI task force is composed of FBI agents, along with other federal agents and detectives from northern Virginia and the District of Columbia. The task force is charged with investigating and bringing federal charges against individuals engaged in the exploitation of children and human trafficking.

            They also expressed appreciation for those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Victim/Witness Specialist Lezlie Richardson, Paralegal Specialist Alexis Spencer-Anderson, Assistant U.S. Attorney Elana Suttenberg, former Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer Loeb and Andrea Hertzfeld, and Sex Offense and Domestic Violence Section Intern David Offit.

            Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Caroline Burrell and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Mona Sedky, who prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 
22-46
Updated February 26, 2022