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Child Exploitation
04/02/2012

Maryland man pleads guilty to sexually exploiting a minor to produce child pornography

Enticed 3 teenage girls to skip school and had sex with 1 of them

BALTIMORE — An Owings Mills, Md. man pleaded guilty April 2 to sexually exploiting a minor to produce child pornography, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Baltimore County Police Department's Crimes Against Children Unit.

Joseph Anthony Kallash, 31, 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). Kallash faces at his sentencing June 5 at 2:00 p.m. a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years in prison followed by up to lifetime of supervised release.

According to the plea agreement, Kallash met a teenage girl on Facebook, representing himself as a teenager. In November 2010, Kallash picked up the victim and two of her minor female friends who had skipped school and brought them to his residence. They drank alcohol, smoked marijuana and watched a movie. Kallash took the victim to his bedroom where they had sex. Shortly afterwards, the victim discovered through Facebook that Kallash was really 30 years old. They sent each other sexually explicit pictures of themselves.

On June 21, 2011, after the victim said she would not have sex with Kallash again, Kallash asked if he could have sex with the victim's younger sister. When Kallash began asking her more about her younger sister, the victim called the Baltimore County Police. During their investigation, the police also spoke with the victim's minor friend who was present at Kallash's residence with the victim the previous November. The victim's friend said that in the summer of 2010, she had accepted Kallash's online request to be her "friend," and that in August of 2010, Kallash had sex with her at his residence.

On June 30, 2011, an undercover Baltimore County Police detective contacted Kallash through Facebook, posing as a minor girl. Kallash asked if the "girl" wanted to have sex, and a meeting was arranged for July 1, 2011. Police surveilled the agreed upon meeting site and arrested Kallash when he arrived. Police seized a camera cell phone. Thereafter, Kallash admitted having sex with the victim. He also said he had been viewing child pornography for about six to seven years and trading child pornography for two to three years. Police executed a search warrant at his residence and seized two laptops, an external hard drive, iPod and camera cell phone, containing sexually explicit pictures of minors.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI 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. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney P. Michael Cunningham.