Springfield Man Pleads Guilty To Producing Child Pornography
ALEXANDRIA, Va. –Andrew Choi, 35, of Springfield, Va., pleaded guilty today to charges of production of child pornography.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Douglas W. Keen, Chief of Police for the Manassas City Police Department, made the announcement after Choi’s hearing before United States District Court Judge Anthony J. Trenga.
“The targeting and sexual exploitation of our kids represents some of the most evil and heinous criminal acts imaginable,” said U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride. “We will aggressively pursue and prosecute all those who, like defendant Choi, have engaged in this deplorable, criminal conduct.”
Chief Keen of Manassas City Police stated that “this is another instance of agencies working together, in cooperation with the US Attorney’s Office, to ensure that the safety of children remains our top priority in these types of cases.”
According to court documents and court proceedings today, Choi engaged in online video chats with at least ten boys under the age of 18 between May 2012 and January 2013. The underage boys performed sex acts on camera and Choi recorded it using a screen capture program. Approximately 600 of these types of videos were discovered on Choi’s computer.
Choi pled guilty to two counts of production of child pornography, and faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years and maximum of 30 years in prison at sentencing, which is scheduled for January 24, 2014
The investigation was conducted by the Manassas City Police Department and the Northern Virginia/DC Internet Crimes against Children Task Force. 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, is 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.projectsafechildhood.gov.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.usdoj.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 http://pacer.uspci.uscourts.gov.