Rockville Man Sentenced to Over 9 Years in Prison for Distributing Child Pornography
Collected at Least 12,765 Images and 600 Videos of Child Pornography
Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel sentenced Romeo Joseph Hillman, age 29, of Rockville, Maryland, today to 114 months in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, for distribution of child pornography. Judge Hazel also ordered that upon his release from prison Hillman 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; Special Agent in Charge Kevin Perkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department.
According to Hillman’s plea agreement, on October 22, 2014, an undercover FBI Task Force Officer downloaded 82 image and video files depicting child pornography from a computer using an IP address associated with Hillman’s residence. The images and videos depicted children from approximately ages three to 13 engaged in sexually explicit conduct. On February 11, 2015, a search warrant was executed at Hillman’s residence and law enforcement seized two laptop computers, four USB drives and a cellular telephone.
A subsequent forensic examination of the seized media revealed at least 12,765 images and 600 videos of child pornography, including the images previously downloaded by the FBI Task Force Officer. At least 125 files recovered from the seized media depict children previously identified as victims of child pornography by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The images included depictions of sexual acts and/or bondage with boys and girls from infancy through pre-pubescence. The forensic analysis also confirmed that Hillman had a file sharing program loaded on his computer. Investigation showed that, in addition to the file sharing program, Hillman used Skype to exchange messages regarding the sexual exploitation of children and to trade pictures and videos depicting 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 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 FBI and Montgomery County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph R. Baldwin and Kristi N. O’Malley, who prosecuted the case.