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Press Release

Former Ohio Music Instructor Pleads Guilty to Production of Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Brian M. Sze, 35, of Seattle, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to production of child pornography.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Marlon V. Miller, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott, Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs and members of the Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force announced the plea entered into today before U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley.

According to court documents, the investigation began in July 2015 after a tip was reported to ICAC, which indicated that Sze had engaged in sexually suggestive communications with a minor.  The investigation revealed that Sze had also engaged in illicit sexual contact with a minor and caused recordings of the child engaged in sexual activity to be recorded.

Sze pleaded guilty to one count of production of child pornography, a crime punishable by a range of 15 to 30 years in prison.

“Sze’s actions are particularly heinous because he used his position as an educator to victimize a minor,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather A. Hill said.

"This case is particularly troubling due to the defendant's position of trust with young people," said Miller. "Some predators are under the false impression that the anonymity of cyberspace shields them from scrutiny by law enforcement. HSI remains committed to working with our law enforcement partners in the fight against those who sexually exploit children."

“The Franklin County ICAC Task Force works diligently on targeting those who prey on children,” Sheriff Zach Scott said. “We are committed to working collaboratively to bring child predators like Sze to justice. We do not and will not tolerate these crimes being committed in our community.”

The Franklin County ICAC Task Force is a multi-agency effort dedicated to the fight against computer facilitated crimes against children. The following agencies are members:

Franklin County Sheriff’s Office

Ohio ICAC

Grove City Police Department

Columbus Police Department

Grandview Heights Police Department

Westerville Police Department

Hilliard Police Department

Franklin County Prosecutor's Office

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)

Ohio Attorney General’s Office (BCI)

The Ohio State University Police Department

Upper Arlington Police Department

Circleville Police Department

Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office

 

This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorney's Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children as well as to identify and rescue victims.

U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the members of the ICAC Task Force for the cooperative investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather A. Hill, who is representing the United States in this case.

Updated March 4, 2016

Topic
Project Safe Childhood