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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Previously Convicted Sex Offender Pleads Guilty to Distribution of Child Pornography

Greenbelt, Maryland – Shaun Valente, age 30, of Montgomery Village, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to distribution of child pornography.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Acting Special Agent in Charge Ivan Arvelo of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HIS).

According to Valente’s plea agreement, from at least March 2013 through September 2014, Valente used his computer to distribute and to receive child pornography.  On February 26, 2014, Dropbox, an online storage platform, reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) that images documenting the sexual abuse of minors had been uploaded to Valente’s Dropbox account. Valente admitted that he also received and distributed images depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct through email.

On September 12, 2014, HSI Special Agents executed a search warrant at Valente’s residence and seized a notebook computer, cellular phone and flash drives that contained more than 4,000 images and 175 videos depicting children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.  The  child pornography included images of prepubescent children, and material that portrayed sadistic or masochistic conduct, or other depictions of violence.

According to his plea agreement, on March 22, 2005, Valente was convicted in Montgomery County Circuit Court for sexual abuse of a minor and a child pornography offense, for which he was sentenced to four years in prison, with all but 18 months suspended.

As part of his plea agreement, Valente 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).

Valente and the government have agreed that if the Court accepts the plea agreement Valente will be sentenced to 198 months in prison.  U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm has scheduled sentencing for November 19, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. Valente remains detained.

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 HSI Baltimore for its work in the investigation.  Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kristi N. O’Malley and Joseph R. Baldwin, who are prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated July 7, 2015