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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 3, 2020

Prince George’s County Man Indicted on Federal Charges for Enticement of a Minor to Engage in Sexual Activity and for Production of Child Pornography

Defendant Ordered Detained Pending Trial

Greenbelt, Maryland – A federal grand jury has indicted Aaron Crawford, age 36, of Capitol Heights, Maryland, for the federal charges of coercion and enticement of a minor and for production of child pornography.  The indictment was returned on July 20, 2020, and unsealed on July 31, 2020, at his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt.  Today, U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy Sullivan ordered that Crawford be detained pending trial. 

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur;  Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Interim Chief Hector Velez of the Prince George’s County Police Department.

According to the indictment and evidence proffered by the government at today’s detention hearing, in November 2019, Crawford recruited a minor female to perform commercial sex acts in Prince George’s County.  Crawford allegedly directed the victim to send him sexually explicit photographs so that he could use the pictures in Internet advertisements.

If convicted, Crawford faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to life in prison for enticement of a minor; and a mandatory minimum of 15 years and up to 30 years in federal prison for production of child pornography.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. 

An indictment is not a finding of guilt.  An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings. 

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.       

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the FBI and the Prince George’s County Police Department Vice and Sex Trafficking Investigations Unit for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph R. Baldwin and Gregory Bernstein, who are prosecuting the federal case.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Marcia Murphy (410) 209-4854
Updated August 3, 2020