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Child Exploitation

Maryland man pleads guilty child pornography possession

Images seized from computers included the rape of toddlers

BALTIMORE — Robert Jay Hudson II, 25, of Gambrills, Md., pleaded guilty Tuesday to possessing child pornography, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore, the Anne Arundel County Police Department and the Maryland State Police.

As part of his plea agreement, Hudson 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. Also as part of the plea agreement, Hudson and the government have agreed that if the court accepts the plea agreement, Hudson will be sentenced to between 87 and 108 months in prison followed by supervised release between 15 years and life. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett has scheduled sentencing for Oct. 9 at 3:00 p.m.

According to the plea agreement, on April 27, 2011, an individual whom Hudson allowed to access his computer discovered images of child pornography. The Anne Arundel County Police were notified and officers executed a search warrant at Hudson's residence. Officers seized a desktop, hard drive and media player that contained images of child pornography, including prepubescent children in diapers and adults engaged in sadistic conduct with the children.

Hudson learned of the search at his home while he was at work and left. Hudson was later found in the median of Route 3 in Crofton, Md., and was taken for medical treatment and later released.

On Nov. 15, 2011, a Maryland State Trooper using an undercover computer downloaded a number of images and video containing child pornography, including graphic images depicting the sexual abuse of an infant, from a computer file sharing program that Hudson was using at his new residence. Hudson engaged the undercover state trooper in chats over the computer in which Hudson expressed a sexual interest in children. A meeting was arranged at which Hudson believed he would receive digital storage media containing child pornography. Subsequently, Hudson was arrested at the meeting. Hudson admitted that he was still actively downloading child pornography.

On Nov. 16, 2011, the Maryland State Police executed a search warrant at Hudson's new residence and seized a laptop, hard drive and USB drive containing 627 images and 144 videos of child pornography with children under the age of 12, including sadistic and violent conduct.

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 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the 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, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the "resources" tab on the left of the page.

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