Also Possessed Over 8,000 Images and Videos of Child Pornography
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander sentenced Laiton Blake Witkowski, age 42, of Stockton, Maryland, today to 16 years in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, for producing and possessing child pornography. Judge Hollander also ordered that upon his release from prison Witkowski 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 William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Worcester County Sheriff Reggie T. Mason, Sr.; Colonel Marcus L. Brown, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; and Worcester County State’s Attorney Beau Oglesby.
According to his plea agreement, on October 8, 2013, Witkowski used a file sharing network which enabled a law enforcement officer to download from Witkowski’s computer. After further investigation, a search warrant was executed at his residence on February 6, 2014. Computers, hard drives, other electronic devices and approximately 455 CDs and DVDs were seized, all containing, or were used to produce and store, child pornography. A computer, eMachine and electronic notebook alone contained 8,000 images and 100 videos of child pornography. The CDs and DVDs also contained thousands of images and videos of child pornography, including images and videos involving prepubescent minors, and depicting sadism, masochism and other violence.
Further analysis revealed that Witkowski had produced images and videos of child pornography of two girls in August to September of 2009. The girls were approximately 10 and 12 years old at the time. In some images one victim appears to be sleeping, and in other images, the other victim is using the bathroom, or sitting at a computer with Witkowski standing behind her in sexually explicit poses.
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 HSI Ocean City, Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) and the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Judson T. Mihok, who is prosecuting the case.