Maryland Man Pleads Guilty To Traveling Into The District Of Columbia To Engage In Illicit Sexual Conduct With A Minor And Possession Of Child Pornography
WASHINGTON – Steven Sollera, Jr., 39, of Edgewood, Md., pled guilty today to charges of traveling interstate to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor and possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., Andrew G. McCabe, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Sollera entered the guilty plea in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The Honorable Tanya S. Chutkan is to sentence him on April 7, 2015. Sollera faces a statutory maximum of 30 years of imprisonment for traveling interstate to engage in illicit sexual conduct and a maximum of 20 years of imprisonment for possession of child pornography, as well as a fine of $250,000 on each count.
According to the government's evidence, on June 5, 2014, Sollera contacted an undercover officer with the FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force, through a social network site. Over the next few days, Sollera engaged in communications with the undercover officer, whom the defendant believed was the father of an under-aged girl. During this time, Sollera arranged with the undercover officer to meet for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts with the child.
During the course of their communications, Sollera provided links containing 22 still images and 14 videos of child pornography. On June 10, 2014, he traveled from Maryland to a pre-arranged meeting place in Washington, D.C to have sex with the purported child. When he arrived at the meeting place, he was arrested.
This case was brought as part of the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood initiative and investigated by the FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes members of the FBI's Washington Field Office and MPD. In February 2006, the Attorney General created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorney's Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
In announcing the guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Machen, Assistant Director in Charge McCabe, and Chief Lanier praised the work of the MPD Detectives and Special Agents of the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force. They also commended the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorney Ari Redbord, who is prosecuting the case.14-268