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Child Exploitation
02/19/2013

Maryland man sentenced to 27 years in prison for sexual bondage of a 15 year old girl

BALTIMORE — A man from Parkville, Md., was sentenced Tuesday to 27 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release for conspiracy to produce child pornography and for transporting a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct.

The sentencing of John Andrew Blaes, 49, follows an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the FBI and the Baltimore County Police Department. Blaes was also ordered to register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is employed and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

According to the plea agreement, at some time prior to March 2010, Blaes and 37-year-old co-conspirator Margaret Ellen Jones, of Parkville, met online and became involved in a sexual relationship involving bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism (BDSM), with Blaes as the "master." The co-conspirator subsequently moved into Blaes' Parkville home. During this time, including in July 2011, Blaes used the Internet to contact other women and minor females to recruit them into the BDSM lifestyle.

On July 5, 2011, Blaes solicited a 15-year-old girl to have sex with him and Jones. Blaes and Jones knew that the victim was a vulnerable minor and sent pornographic pictures of themselves to the victim using the computer.

On July 22, 2011, Blaes and Jones traveled to the victim's home in North Carolina to bring her to live with them in Parkville. After picking the victim up in North Carolina, Blaes and Jones sexually abused her in the back of their vehicle, including using bondage with ropes, chains and clamps. The next day, Blaes and Jones rented a hotel room in North Carolina to have sex with the victim. Blaes and Jones used a camera to document the sexual abuse of the victim in the van and the hotel. The images included sadistic and masochistic conduct.

From July 22 to Nov. 20, 2011, Blaes and Jones engaged in sex acts with the victim multiple times a week. Blaes also cut the victim and held lemons to her injuries. Blaes and Jones instructed the victim to keep the sexual conduct and her age a secret. The victim was kept in their residence or in their control at all times and was not enrolled in school.

Blaes and the co-conspirator used a camera and cell phones to photograph the victim in sexually explicit poses and their sexual abuse of the victim. Blaes distributed the sexually explicit images online to recruit other individuals.

Margaret Ellen Jones pleaded guilty to conspiracy to produce child pornography and is scheduled to be sentenced on June 11.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the DOJ Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood and information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rachel M. Yasser and Judson T. Mihok.