Douglas Lee Patrick, 39, of Baltimore was sentenced today to 122 months followed by supervised release for life for receiving images depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
The sentence was announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of ICE HSI in Baltimore; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of FBI; Acting Postal Inspector in Charge Keith A. Fixel of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service - Washington Division; Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department; and Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger.
"The internet is extremely beneficial and has become a way of life," said Special Agent in Charge Winter. "However, parents must be ever vigilant in being aware of their children's internet activity and remember that predators are increasingly utilizing social networking sites to prey on children. HSI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to combat the exploitation of children."
"Douglas Lee Patrick is a 39 year old man who pretended to be an 18 year old girl and developed romantic relationships with children over the internet," said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. "This case is a chilling reminder that people who chat on the internet often lie about who they are."
According to Patrick's plea agreement, from December 2008 to March 2009, Patrick posed on MyYearbook.com as an 18 year old lesbian named "Leah" who was suffering from cancer, in order to obtain pictures of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Many of the minor females believed that they were in a romantic relationship with "Leah." Patrick, in his role as "Leah," solicited the minor females to transmit pictures of their genital area over the internet.
A search warrant was executed at Patrick's house on March 4, 2009. Four videos and 100 images depicting the sexual abuse of children were seized from his computer.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE 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. ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.