District Heights Man Sentenced to 45 Years in Federal Prison for the Sexual Abuse of a Two-Year-Old and Seven-Year-Old Child in Order to Produce Child Pornography
The Defendant Admitted that He Also Distributed the Child Pornography He Produced on the Dark Web.
Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm today sentenced Brian Anthony Gilbert, age 34, of District Heights, Maryland to 45 years in federal prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, for two counts of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. Judge Grimm also ordered that, upon his release from prison, Gilbert must continue to register as a sex offender in the places 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 Erek L. Barron; Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr.; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Chief Malik Aziz of the Prince George’s County Police Department.
“There are no words to adequately express how disturbing this case truly is,” said United States Attorney Erek L. Barron. “This sentence sends a clear message that we will bring to justice those who victimize innocent children.”
“Not only did the defendant commit egregious acts of abuse against two children in his community, but he also recorded and exploited the abuse and trauma of young victims on the Dark Web,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Today’s sentence demonstrates our commitment to protecting children from threats. I commend the professionalism of our agents and law enforcement partners in bringing Brian Gilbert to justice.”
“When the most vulnerable of our citizens – our children – are victimized we will do everything in our power to hold the perpetrators accountable and to protect others from harm,” said Thomas J. Sobocinski, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Baltimore Field Office. “Not only did the abuser harm two innocent children, but he furthered their victimization by distributing heinous materials online. Mr. Gilbert will now spend a significant time behind bars.”
According to his guilty plea, in August 2020, Gilbert uploaded and advertised at least two video files of child pornography depicting an approximately seven-year-old female victim (Victim 1) on an online bulletin board dedicated to child pornography hosted on the Tor network. The Tor network is a computer network that is specifically designed to facilitate anonymous communication over the Internet. The videos were approximately 10 minutes and 15 minutes in length and depicted sexual acts between Gilbert and Victim 1. In Gilbert’s posts on the online bulletin board, Gilbert admits to having produced both videos.
As detailed in his plea agreement, on September 11, 2020, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Gilbert’s residence, Gilbert was present at the time. During the execution of the search warrant, Gilbert waived his rights and informed law enforcement that he video recorded sexual acts between himself and Victim 1 in his bedroom and at Victim 1’s residence approximately five times between January 2019 and August 2020. He also stated that he had video recorded sexual acts between himself and another victim, who was approximately two-years old (“Victim 2”) at the time. Gilbert told law enforcement that he distributed the child sex abuse material that he produced on the Tor network.
During the execution of the search warrant, law enforcement also seized a number of electronic devices from Gilbert’s bedroom. A subsequent forensic analysis of Gilbert’s electronic devices revealed over 2,000 files depicting child pornography. Among those files were six videos of Gilbert engaging in sexual acts with Victim 1 and Victim 2 in Gilbert’s bedroom or in Victim 1’s residence. Some of the child pornography located on Gilbert’s devices included prepubescent children under the age of 12 as well as sadistic or masochistic conduct, including the use of instruments or tools on children, and sexual acts between adults and children.
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 Attorney’s 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 Erek L. Barron and Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite commended the FBI and the Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron and Mr. Polite thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph R. Baldwin and Trial Attorneys Jessica Urban and Alicia Bove from the Justice Department’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section who are prosecuting federal case.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md/project-safe-childhood and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.
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