Essex Man Sentenced to 17 Years in Prison for Distribution of Child Pornography
Judge Also Found Defendant Had a Pattern of Sexually Abusing Minors
Baltimore, Maryland – Chief U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Robert John Wiseman, Jr., age 56, of Essex, Maryland, today to 17 years in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, for distribution of child pornography. Chief Judge Blake also ordered that upon his release from prison, Wiseman 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; Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department; Special Agent in Charge Kevin Perkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Special Agent in Charge Andre R. Watson of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Judge Blake enhanced Wiseman’s sentence upon finding that Wiseman had a pattern of sexually abusing minors. Testimony concerning the abuse of minors, who came forward in 1990 and 2013, was presented at today’s sentencing hearing. The victims from 1990 and from 2013 each alleged that Wiseman began sexually abusing them beginning when they were two years old until they were approximately eight or nine years old. The victim from 2013 further stated that Wiseman took pornographic photographs of the victim. Wiseman was never charged or convicted of these allegations.
According to Wiseman’s plea agreement, on July 17, 2014, an undercover Baltimore County Police detective was conducting an online investigation into the sharing of child pornography using file sharing networks. The detective located an IP address on one of the file sharing programs that was sharing at least one video file that the detective knew from previous investigations depicted children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The detective downloaded the video file and tracked the IP address to the subscriber, a woman who lived in Essex. The detective obtained a search warrant for that address and on September 9, 2014, the search warrant was executed. The subscriber was at the residence along with Wiseman and two others, including a minor child.
During an audio recorded interview, Wiseman told the detective that he used a file sharing program on his desktop computer to search for and download child pornography. Wiseman also acknowledged that he was aware that other people were able to download files from him using the file sharing network. During the execution of the search warrant, a forensic review was conducted on Wiseman’s desktop computer. The detective located the video he had downloaded, as well as numerous other video and image files depicting children engaged in sexually explicit conduct, including prepubescent children and images of sadistic and masochistic conduct, or other depictions of violence. Law enforcement seized the desktop computer, two laptop computers, and 17 external hard drives, among other items. A subsequent forensic examination of the desktop computer found approximately 20 video files and over 10,000 image files of child pornography. Wiseman must forfeit the computers, hard drives and other digital media seized during the search.
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 Baltimore County Police Department, FBI and HSI Baltimore for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rachel M. Yasser and Sandra Wilkinson, who prosecuted the case.