United States Flag
Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security

Report Crimes: Email or Call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE

Child Exploitation
11/21/2011

Former Maryland man pleads guilty to sexually abusing a child to produce child pornography

BALTIMORE – A former resident of Maryland pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a child and to producing child pornography Monday following an investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Washington County Sheriff's Office with the assistance of the Washington County State's Attorney's Office.

As part of his plea agreement, Thomas Leroy Griffin, Jr., 32, 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). Additionally as part of the plea agreement, Griffin and the government have agreed that Griffin will be sentenced to 30 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett has scheduled sentencing for Jan. 20, 2012.

Griffin has also agreed to plead guilty to the charge of sexual abuse of a minor, now pending against him in Washington County Circuit Court. The Washington County State's Attorney's Office will recommend a 30-year prison sentence to be served concurrent to his federal sentence.

According to the plea agreement, on at least five occasions, from the time the victim was five or six years old, until August 2010, Griffin engaged in sexually explicit conduct with a female child under the age of 12. On Dec. 15, 2010, the victim's mother discovered a videotape documenting Griffin's sexual abuse of the child.

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 or its online tip form. Both are 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.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Judson T. Mihok.