Baltimore, Maryland – In two unrelated cases, U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander today sentenced Larry James Kerfoot, age 38, of Dundalk, Maryland, and Robert Marzola, age 31, of Essex, Maryland, to 28 and 29 years in prison, respectively, each followed by lifetime supervised release, for sexually abusing a minor to produce child pornography. Judge Hollander also ordered that upon their release from prison, Kerfoot and Marzola must each 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 sentences were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department; and Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger.
According to Kerfoot and Marzola’s plea agreements, in late May and early June 2012, respectively, an undercover Baltimore County detective downloaded child pornography from internet files made available by Kerfoot and Marzola from their homes.
Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Kerfoot’s home on June 27, 2012, and seized computers and digital media containing 19 videos and 80 images of child pornography that Kerfoot had received from the internet. Officers also seized a video Kerfoot had produced of a 12 year old girl whom he had coerced to engage in sexually explicit conduct with him on at least five occasions.
Baltimore County Police executed a search warrant at Marzola’s residence on July 19, 2012 and seized a camera, computers and digital media. Investigation revealed that between December 2011 and July 2012, Marzola sexually abused a minor male at his home to produce images of himself and the minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Marzola saved the images on his laptop. Marzola told the boy, who was six years old when the abuse began, not to tell anyone about their conduct, which Marzola described to the boy as a game. The images and videos that Marzola had previously produced of the boy were found on his laptop, along with 18 additional videos of children engaged in sexual conduct. According to information presented at today’s sentencing hearing, during the investigation law enforcement identified a second boy that had been sexually abused by Marzola. The second victim, who was five years old at the time of the abuse, told investigators that on at least one occasion he had witnessed the sexual abuse of the first victim, and had been abused himself. As with the first victim, Marzola told the second victim not to tell anyone about what happened.
These cases were 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.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the "resources" tab on the left of the page.
The Marzola investigation was also part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended HSI Baltimore, FBI, Baltimore County Police Department and Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in these investigations. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Judson T. Mihok, who prosecuted the Kerfoot case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Budlow, who prosecuted the Marzola case.