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Justice News

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

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Previously Convicted Child Pornographer Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Possessing Child Pornography

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Otha Royal Palmer, age 58, of Hagerstown, Maryland, today to 10 years in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release for possession of child pornography. Judge Bennett ordered that upon his release from prison, Palmer 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 and Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to the plea agreement, Palmer has two previous child pornography convictions, including a 2001 federal conviction for interstate transportation of child pornography, and was registered as a sex offender.

In the fall of 2011, law enforcement learned that Palmer was accessing and posting comments about child pornography, including his preference for four to seven year old girls, on an internet website. On December 20, 2011, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Palmer’s residence and seized his desktop computer. A subsequent forensic examination of the computer revealed over 600 images of children, including children under the age of 12, engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

The case was investigated by the FBI-led Maryland Child Exploitation Task Force (MCETF), with members from10 state and federal law enforcement agencies. The Task Force coordinates with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Maryland State Police Child Recovery Unit to identify missing and abused children.

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 For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the "resources" tab on the left of the page.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI and the Maryland Child Exploitation Task Force for its work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Antonio J. Reynolds and Michael C. Hanlon, who prosecuted the case.

Updated January 26, 2015