Baltimore, Maryland – Robert Marzola, age 31, of Essex, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to producing child pornography.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department; and Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger.
According to his plea agreement, between December 2011 and July 2012, Marzola sexually abused a minor male at his home to produce images of himself and the minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Marzola saved the images on his laptop. Marzola told the boy not to tell anyone about their conduct, which Marzola described to the boy as a game.
In June 2012, Baltimore County police accessed a peer to peer network and saw that Marzola had files containing child pornography available for download. Police executed a search warrant at Marzola’s residence on July 19, 2012 and seized a camera, desk top computer, laptop computer and an SD card. The images and videos that Marzola had previously produced of the boy were found on his laptop, along with 18 additional videos of children engaged in sexual conduct.
As part of his plea agreement, Marzola 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).
Marzola faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 in prison followed by up to lifetime of supervised release. U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander has scheduled sentencing for November 7, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.
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.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the "resources" tab on the left of the page.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the Baltimore HSI, FBI, Baltimore County Police Department and Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Budlow, who prosecuted the case.