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Child Exploitation

Maryland man pleads guilty to producing and possessing child pornography

BALTIMORE — A Maryland man pleaded guilty Friday to producing and possessing child pornography depicting 9 and 10-year-old girls following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Baltimore County Police Department.

Leo Aragon Evans, 56, of Cockeysville, Md., 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). Evans faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years in prison followed by up to a lifetime of supervised release for production of child pornography, and a minimum of five years and a maximum of 10 years in prison for possession of child pornography. U.S. District Judge Ellen B. Hollander has scheduled sentencing for June 15, 2012, at 3:00 p.m. Evans remains detained.

According to Evans' plea agreement, on Jan. 10, 2011, a 9-year-old female reported to Baltimore County Police that Evans had repeatedly sexually abused her over the past year. These acts occurred while the victim and another 10-year-old girl were under Evans' care, sometimes at his home.

The next day, Baltimore County Police searched Evans' residence and seized a video camcorder and two tapes. Review of the tapes revealed that both depicted images of the 9 and 10-year-old girls engaged in sexually explicit conduct. In the first video, Evans is heard directing one of the victims to engage in sexually explicit conduct while he videotapes the abuse. In the second video, Evans filmed the girls in the bathtub, telling them to stand up so he can film their naked bodies.

Further investigation revealed that Evans had been the subject of three prior investigations involving the sexual abuse of three other minor girls.

On Jan. 19, 2011, a woman reported to the Baltimore County Police that she had used the key she had to Evans' apartment to retrieve her personal belongings and had discovered two "massagers," or sexual devices that matched the description provided to police by one of the minor victims. On April 16 and 17, 2011, a family member entered Evans' apartment, with his permission, to search for family photos and other items of sentimental value, while Evans was detained at the Baltimore County Detention Center. The family member found a baggie containing photos of three prepubescent girls, including photos of the victims engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Photographs of one of the victims matched the description of the photographs that she reported to police in 2003, which had been taken of her seven years earlier.

The Baltimore County State's Attorney's Office assisted in this investigation.

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