BALTIMORE — A Maryland man was sentenced to five years in prison followed by supervised release for life, for receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet. The man also possessed over 8,500 images of child pornography and over 630 videos of suspected child pornography. The sentence is the result of an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Timothy Whitaker, 46, of Baltimore, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz. Judge Motz ordered that upon his release from prison, Whitaker is required to 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).
The sentence was announced by U.S. Rod J. Rosenstein, District of Maryland; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of HSI in Baltimore; and Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department.
"Child pornography victimizes children over and over again – starting with the initial assault, and continuing everyday for victims of this terrible trade," said Winter. "HSI will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners here in Maryland and around the world to ensure that cyberspace affords no protection for those who seek to prey upon and sexually exploit our children."
Whitaker was a member of a publicly available peer to peer file sharing program, and had multiple images and videos available for other members of the program to download via the Internet. On June 2, 2010, a Baltimore County police detective logged onto the program and downloaded a video depicting the sexual abuse of a prepubescent girl. On June 21, Baltimore County police officers executed a search warrant at Whitaker's residence and seized two desktop computers, two laptop computers, several hard drives, binders containing hard copies of child pornography and multiple pieces of removable media. Analysis of the items seized revealed over 8,500 images of child pornography and over 630 videos of suspected child pornography. These depictions included prepubescent children engaging in sado-masochistic activities and anal intercourse.
In addition, officers seized several VHS tapes containing multiple videos produced by Whitaker of a female teenage neighbor, which appear to have been recorded from within the defendant's bedroom while peering into the girl's upstairs bedroom window.
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. ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE. This hotline is 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.
U.S. Attorney Rosenstein commended HSI and the Baltimore County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Rosenstein also thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark W. Crooks, who prosecuted the case.