Bullitt County, Kentucky, Man Pleads Guilty To Production Of Child Pornography
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Bullitt County, Kentucky, man pleaded guilty yesterday afternoon, before Senior United States District Judge Thomas B. Russell, to two charges of producing child pornography, announced Acting United States Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr.
Michael Mudd, age 45, was arrested on August 25, 2014, on a criminal complaint. A federal grand jury indicted Mudd on September 18, 2014. Mudd pleaded guilty to two separate counts of producing child pornography. Additional charges for receiving child pornography remain pending.
According to the record of this case, and information disclosed during yesterday’s hearing, law enforcement officials executed a federal search warrant on Mudd’s residence on August 7, 2014. Mudd was at home during execution of the warrant. Law enforcement officials seized a number of items, including computers, cellular telephones and other digital devices. The items were submitted for forensic examination.
While law enforcement officials were on the scene of the search, neighbors approached and expressed concern about Mudd’s conduct with young boys in the neighborhood. Within 24 hours of executing the warrant, an adult female made contact with law enforcement. She reported that her 12-year-old son told her that Mudd had recorded her son engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
A staff member with Family and Children’s Place in Louisville, Kentucky, conducted a forensic interview with the boy. During the interview, the child described multiple occasions during which Mudd photographed and videoed the child engaging in sexually explicit conduct. According to the child, the recording/photographing took place on multiple occasions dating back to the fall of 2013 and continuing to May 2014. The computer forensic examination of the items seized from Mudd’s home revealed the existence of the videos / photographs described by the boy.
Mudd admitted, during the change of plea hearing, that he had photographed and videoed two different male children. He created the images inside his residence as well as outside at a small lake near the trailer park where he lived.
Mudd faces a statutorily mandated sentence of 15 years in prison and could be sentenced up to 60 years in prison. Further, Mudd faces at least 5 years and up to a life term of supervised release and a fine of $500,000.
Assistant United States Attorney Jo E. Lawless is prosecuting the case. The United States Postal Inspection Service, with assistance from the Bullitt County Sheriff’s Office, conducted the investigation.
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.usdoj.gov/psc For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."