Greenbelt, Maryland – Katherine Noelle Nash, age 26, of Burtonsville, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to transportation 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 Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department; and Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy.
According to Nash’s plea agreement, on September 8 and 9, 2013, Nash distributed nine videos depicting prepubescent minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, to an undercover officer using a file sharing program. On October 23, 2013, a search warrant was executed at Nash’s residence and law enforcement seized two computers and other digital media.
A subsequent forensic examination of one of the computers revealed 12 images and a video file documenting Nash’s sexual abuse of a prepubescent female child, as well as sexually explicit conversations with another individual regarding the child. In addition, Nash possessed 37 files containing child pornography, including the files Nash distributed to the undercover officer. Nash had downloaded the files from the internet and many of the images were identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children as depicting known victims. A preliminary analysis of the second computer revealed approximately 190 images and videos depicting children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
As part of her plea agreement, Nash must register as a sex offender in the place where she resides, where she is an employee, and where she is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
Nash and the government have agreed that if the Court accepts the plea agreement Nash will be sentenced to eight years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release. U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow has scheduled sentencing for February 2, 2015 at 1:30 p.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 the FBI, Montgomery County Police Department and Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly O. Hayes and Kristi N. O’Malley, who are prosecuting the case.