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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

Friday, October 16, 2015

Frederick County Man Indicted for Sexually Exploiting a Toddler

Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury indicted William H. Steinhaus IV, age 33, of Brunswick, Maryland, yesterday for sexual exploitation of a child and distributing child pornography.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Kevin Perkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Frederick County Sheriff Charles A. “Chuck” Jenkins; Frederick County State’s Attorney J. Charles Smith; and Chief Cathy L. Lanier of the Metropolitan Police Department.

According to the six count indictment, between December 8 and 9, 2014, Steinhaus had a number of sexually explicit conversations on Kik, an instant messaging application, with other Kik users regarding their shared sexual interest in prepubescent children. Steinhaus took pictures using his iPhone or iPad of a two year old girl engaged in sexually explicit conduct and distributed them to approximately 25 other Kik users.

The indictment alleges that during those two days, Steinhaus and another Kik user exchanged approximately 290 messages.  They discussed how Steinhaus could best sexually abuse the toddler.  Steinhaus sent the user images of the child and Steinhaus engaged in sexually explicit conduct; and pictures of a couch, stating “That’s where tw[sic] assault will happen.”

Also on December 8, 2014, Steinhaus and a second Kik user allegedly exchanged approximately 293 messages.  Steinhaus sent pictures of the child and Steinhaus engaged in sexually explicit conduct; and pictures of a couch, stating “That’s where the assault is going to happen.”

According to the indictment, between December 8 and 9, 2014, Steinhaus and a third Kik user exchanged approximately 419 messages.  Steinhaus sent approximately 30 pictures he had taken of the toddler, several of which contained images of the child and Steinhaus engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Steinhaus is presently in state custody following his arrest on December 9, 2014 on related charges filed in Frederick County Circuit.

Steinhaus faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years in prison on each of two counts for sexual exploitation of a child; and a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum of 20 years in prison on each of four counts for distributing child pornography.  An initial appearance is expected to be scheduled for October 30, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. 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 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, Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office and Metropolitan Police Department for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zachary A. Myers and Judson T. Mihok, who are prosecuting the case.

Project Safe Childhood
Updated October 16, 2015