Baltimore Man Facing Federal Indictment for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor to Produce Child Pornography and for Possession of Child Pornography
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz sentenced Robert P. Kramer, age 51, of Arnold, Maryland, today to five years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for distribution of child pornography. Judge Motz also ordered that upon his release from prison Kramer must register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.
According to his plea agreement and other court documents, Kramer was a VIP member of “The Website,” an online community dedicated to the advertisement and distribution of child pornography. The Website required its users to continually share child pornography in order to gain and keep membership. The Website operated on a network specifically designed to facilitate anonymous communication over the internet. In order to join and access the Website, Kramer had to install specialized computer software designed to mask the identity and location of the user. Website members were required to contribute postings to the site at least once every 30 days. These posts must either distribute and advertise child pornography depicting prepubescent children, from infancy to approximately ages 12-13, to other users, or provide assistance to other users in advertising or distributing child pornography. Members who went above and beyond the Website’s requirements could become “VIP” members of the website with the approval of Website administrators. VIP members are granted access to a “private” area of the child pornography forum, that was said to contain material that was “rare” and “new.”
Kramer admitted that between April 29, 2013 and December 9, 2014, he made a total of 69 postings to the Website and that many of those posts shared images of prepubescent girls engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
A search warrant was executed at Kramer’s home on June 16, 2015. Kramer had digital devices and storage media capable of storing over 3TB of data. Some of the data stored by Kramer on these devices were secured by a variety of means, including sophisticated encryption and use of “virtual machines,” or “shadow drives,” to conceal the existence of date. Kramer admitted that he had over 600 videos and images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the "resources" tab on the left of the page.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, and Maryland State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Myers, who prosecuted the case.