ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Robert Fenn, 27, of Herndon, Va., was sentenced today to 120 months in prison, followed by 20 years of supervised release, for receipt and possession of child pornography. Prior to his June 2012 arrest on related, local charges, Fenn was a special education teacher at Poplar Tree Elementary School in Chantilly, Va. A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, John P. Torres, Special Agent in Charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Washington, D.C.; and Lt. Colonel Edwin C. Roessler, Jr., Acting Fairfax County Chief of Police, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge James C. Cacheris.
“We vigorously investigate and prosecute all those who commit child pornography offenses,” said U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride. “This is especially so when those same criminals have been entrusted with the care of our children. The defendant will now have the next ten years to consider the consequences of his actions.”
On April 3, 2013, a federal jury returned a verdict of guilty against Fenn for one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. According to court records and evidence adduced at trial, Fenn was identified through an international initiative originated with Italian law enforcement that investigated a website offering access to child pornographic images and/or video files identified by the domain name “liberalmorality.com.” The website was hosted in the United States and HSI obtained internet records showing each internet account that accessed the website and the specific images each account accessed.
Fenn taught special education at Poplar Tree Elementary School in Chantilly, Va. and gave private music lessons to children in their homes. Fenn admitted an interest in girls between the ages of nine and 14, which corresponded to the ages of the victims of child pornography depicted in images and videos found on Fenn’s computers and external hard drives.
This case was investigated by HSI’s Child Exploitation Section in the Washington Field Office and the Fairfax County Police Department. Special Assistant United States Attorney Alicia J. Yass, a Trial Attorney with the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and Assistant United States Attorneys Lindsay Kelly and Jay Prabhu are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
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 United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (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.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”