Former Carroll County Coach and Substitute Teacher Pleads Guilty to Federal Charge for Sexual Exploitation of a Child
Baltimore, Maryland – Jesse David Kuchta, age 28, of Manchester, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to production and possession of child pornography.
The guilty plea 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); Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Carroll County Sheriff James DeWees, and Carroll County State’s Attorney Brian DeLeonardo.
According to Kuchta’s plea agreement, on May 14, 2014, a detective with the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office received a Cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) concerning images depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct that had been uploaded to Photobucket, a free image and video hosting website. Based on their investigation of the tip, law enforcement identified Kuchta as the holder of the Photobucket accounts and obtained a search warrant for his address in Manchester. On May 14, 2014, law enforcement executed the search warrant.
During the search, Kuchta arrived at the home and spoke with investigators. He admitted taking the images and videos of a minor female engaged in sexually explicit conduct and uploading them to his Photobucket accounts. Law enforcement seized a flash drive, two micro SD cards and two cell phones used in the production, possession or transportation of child pornography, as well as other items of evidence that were seen in the images and videos that Kuchta produced.
As part of his plea agreement, Kutcha 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).
Kutcha faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years in prison for production of child pornography; and a maximum of 10 years in prison for possession of child pornography, each followed by up to lifetime of supervised release. U.S. District Judge George L. Russell, III has scheduled sentencing for August 7, 2015 at 11:30 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.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 HSI Baltimore, the Maryland State Police, Carroll County Sheriff’s Office and Carroll County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Ayn B. Ducao, who is prosecuting the case.