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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 28, 2021

Jury Finds District Man Guilty of Child Exploitation and Child Sexual Abuse Offenses

Defendant Was the Child’s Stepfather

             WASHINGTON – A 62-year-old man, of Southeast Washington, D.C., has been found guilty by a jury of 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 verdict took place on Oct. 27, 2021, following a six-day trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The announcement was made today by Acting U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips, 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, remains held pending his sentencing by the Honorable Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 25, 2022. The defendant faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. 

            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 verdict, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillips, 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. Attorney Jennifer Loeb, 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
Violent Crime
Updated October 28, 2021