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Press Release

DOJ Employee Indicted for Traveling to Engage in Sex with a Minor

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has indicted James Cicala, age 54, of Columbia, Maryland for interstate travel with intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor.  The indictment was returned on October 8, 2015, and unsealed today upon the arrest of Cicala

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Andre Watson of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Worcester County Sheriff Reggie T. Mason, Sr.; and Special Agent in Charge Michael Tompkins, Washington Field Office, U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General.

According to the indictment, on August 15, 2015, Cicala traveled from his beach house in Delaware to Berlin, Maryland, to engage in a sexual act with a 15 year old girl.  According to a search warrant affidavit filed in connection with the investigation, on July 21, 2015, an undercover detective with the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office who was investigating child solicitation on the internet responded to an ad entitled “Daddy’s Little Girl.” The person posting the ad stated that they were interested in meeting someone for a “Daddy/Daughter Relationship.”  The undercover detective identified himself as a 15 year old female, and the poster identified himself as a male in his late 40’s.

The poster and the undercover detective exchanged messages for several weeks, eventually agreeing to meet to engage in sexually explicit conduct. During their conversations, Cicala refers to himself as “Daddy.”  According to the affidavit, on August 15, 2015, law enforcement attempted to identify the owner of the telephone number used to text messages to the undercover detective and learned that the number belonged to the Department of Justice.  Many of the conversations Cicala allegedly had with the undercover officer occurred using Cicala’s DOJ-issued phone or work computer, sometimes during work hours.

Cicala was arrested on August 15, 2015, as he arrived at the location where he was to meet the 15 year old girl in order to engage in sexually explicit conduct.  Cicala had traveled from his beach house in Delaware to the meeting place in Berlin, Maryland.  On August 17, 2015, Cicala was placed on administrative leave by the Department of Justice, where he worked in IT, and all electronic devices assigned to him were secured.

Cicala faces a maximum of 30 years in prison followed by up to lifetime of supervised release for traveling interstate to have sex with a minor.   An initial appearance is scheduled for today at 3:15 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Sullivan in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt.  An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

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  For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the "resources" tab on the left of the page.             

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the HSI Baltimore, Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and DOJ- Office of Inspector General for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Tamera L. Fine, who is prosecuting the case.

Updated October 16, 2015

Project Safe Childhood