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Child Exploitation
04/24/2013

Maryland sex offender sentenced to 10 years in prison for child pornography possession

BALTIMORE — A Frederick, Md., man was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison followed by lifetime supervised release for possessing child pornography, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Maryland State Police.

Emil Moldovan, 40, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles Jr. that upon his release from prison, he 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.

According to his plea agreement, on June 28, 2011, an undercover Internet investigation identified an image of child pornography being downloaded from a computer at Moldovan's address. A search warrant was executed at Moldovan's residence and HSI special agents seized computers and storage media containing more than 600 videos and images of child pornography. The depictions included images of children under 12 years old engaged in sexual conduct, including sadistic conduct and other depictions of violence.

Moldovan stated that he had been downloading child pornography, and since his Internet service was too expensive, he had cancelled it and was connecting to the Internet via an open wireless connection he located in his neighborhood.

Moldovan had previously been convicted in January 2007 in Frederick County Circuit Court of distributing and promoting child pornography.

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.

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 1-866-347-2423 or by completing 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 & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678.

HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Judson T. Mihok for the District of Maryland.