Reisterstown Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges of Traveling Overseas to Have Sex with a Minor and to Producing Child Pornography with the Intent to Transport it to the United States
Baltimore, Maryland – Martin Hall, age 56, of Reisterstown, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to traveling from the United States to the Philippines to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, and to producing child pornography with the intent to transport it to the United States.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Acting Special Agent in Charge Cardell T. Morant of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Chief Terrence B. Sheridan of the Baltimore County Police Department.
According to his plea agreement, Hall traveled to the Philippines for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual activity with minor females. Hall’s conduct included engaging in sexual acts with minors, producing images of the minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct, and transporting the images back to Maryland. Hall began traveling to the Philippines in 2006 to engage in sexually explicit conduct with Jane Doe 3, a sixteen-year-old girl. During Hall’s travels to the Philippines, he admitted that he also produced images of Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 engaged in sexually explicit conduct, beginning when each girl was as young as 12 years old.
Specifically, as detailed in his plea agreement, from April through August 2016, Hall traveled to the Philippines to have sex with Jane Doe 1, who was then 14 years old, and produced images documenting his sexual abuse of the girl. Hall transported these images back to the United States. Additionally, Hall used sophisticated computer programs to download and store thousands of images and videos of child pornography on various digital devices in his residence, including the images of Jane Doe 1. Hall used encryption software on all of his digital devices to prevent others from accessing his files.
After observing Hall request child pornography using a file sharing program, investigators from the Baltimore County Police Department searched Hall’s residence on September 7, 2016, pursuant to a search warrant. Investigators seized Hall’s computer equipment and digital camera. At the time of the execution of the warrant, Hall’s laptop and external hard drive were turned on and in an unencrypted state. During an on-scene forensic examination of the laptop and connected external hard drive, investigators discovered approximately 8,000 images relating to child exploitation. The device became encrypted during the forensic examination, but not before investigators had copied more than 4,600 image files, most of which are child pornography. The copied images included the series of sexually explicit images of Jane Doe 1 taken by Hall between April and August 2016.
As part of his plea agreement, Hall must register as a sex offender in the places where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
Hall and the government have agreed that if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Hall will be sentenced to 25 years in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, and will be required to pay restitution to victims totaling $125,000. U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander has scheduled sentencing for October 12, 2018 at 2:00 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 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 and Acting Assistant Attorney General John Cronan commended the FBI, HSI-Baltimore, and the Baltimore County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Hur and Mr. Cronan thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul E. Budlow and Trial Attorney Kaylynn Shoop of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, who are prosecuting the federal case.