Previously Convicted Sex Offender Sentenced to 20 Years in Federal Prison for Distribution of Child Pornography
Posed as a Minor Male on Video Conferencing Platform to Communicate with Minors
Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Christopher Russell Fox, age 42, of Brooklyn, Maryland, today to 20 years in federal prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, for distribution of child pornography. Judge Bennett also ordered that Fox must continue to 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). Fox is already a registered sex offender, previously convicted of a third-degree sex offense in 2016, in Howard County Circuit Court.
The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner and Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.
According to his guilty plea, between March and May of 2018, a technology company sent numerous CyberTip Reports regarding child pornography incidents occurring on its video conference platform. Files submitted with the reports depicted prepubescent males engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
As detailed in his plea agreement, investigation revealed that Fox repeatedly used a video conferencing platform to pose as a minor male, in order to communicate with other users. Fox routinely sought out minor males on the video conferencing platform, engaged them in sexual conversation, asked them to trade sexually explicit images and videos, and asked them to stream live images. While he was on probation for his 2016 sex offense conviction, Fox used three separate accounts on the video conferencing platform in order to trade images and videos of minor males engaged in sex acts on at least eleven occasions between December 10, 2017 and May 19, 2018. For example, on March 24, 2018, Fox posed as an 8th grade male and engaged in sexually explicit conversation with a user who stated he was in the 10th grade. During the conversation Fox sent the user a video of three prepubescent males engaging in sexual acts.
On May 10, 2019, investigators executed a federal search warrant at Fox’s residence and seized digital items including Fox’s computer and a mini thumb drive. A forensic review of those items revealed that Fox possessed over 158 images of child pornography on the digital devices. These images, along with the videos Fox traded online, demonstrate that Fox distributed, received, and possessed over 600 images of child pornography.
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 Attorney’s 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.
Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended the FBI for its work in the investigation. Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christine L. Duey and Matthew Maddox, who prosecuted the federal case.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md/project-safe-childhood and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.
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