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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Winchester Man Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Charges

HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA – A former regional chief public information officer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers pled guilty today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Harrisonburg to charges related to the possession and transportation of child pornography images and videos.

Michael Steven Beeman, 62, of Winchester, Va., waived his right to be indicted and pled guilty today to a Superseding Information charging him with one count of transportation of child pornography and four counts of possession of child pornography.

In and around the late 1980s, Beeman, who at the time was employed by the United States Air Force in a public affairs position at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, video-recorded his sexual abuse of a boy who also lived on base. This abuse, and the video images produced by Beeman remained unknown to law enforcement until shortly before his arrest.

In 2014 Beeman’s dog walker discovered images of naked minors on one of Beeman’s i-Pads. The dog walker reported these observations to the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.

On January 14, 2014, a search warrant was executed at Beeman’s Winchester home and more than 250 electronic devices, including VHS tapes, DVDs, desktop computers, laptop computers, electronic tablets, external hard drives and thumb drives were seized. More than 50 of the items seized contained depictions of child pornography. There were thousands of images of child pornography found on Beeman’s devices. Many of the victims depicted on the defendant’s devices were found by National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to be previously identified minors.

Forensic analysis of Beeman’s devices showed that many of the child pornography images were obtained by the defendant both prior to and following the defendant’s move to Virginia in 2010.

At sentencing, Beeman faces up to 20 years in prison on each of counts one through four and up to 10 years on count five.  He also faces a mandatory minimum of at least five years on count one. After his release from prison, the defendant faces a minimum of five years and as much as a lifetime of supervised release.

The investigation of the case was conducted by Mike Wagoner with the Page County Sheriff’s Office, the NOVA/DC Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and Evidence Recovery Section, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Homeland Security- Homeland Security Investigations, The Virginia Attorney General’s Office- Computer Evidence Recovery Section, the Virginia State Police High Tech Crimes-Computer Recover Section, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers-Middle East District, U.S. Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, High Tech Investigative Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Nancy S. Healey and Herbrina D. Sanders, a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, will prosecute the case for the United States.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated October 6, 2015