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Child Exploitation

North Fort Worth man sentenced to nearly 22 years in federal prison for downloading images of child pornography from the Internet

FORT WORTH, Texas — A local man was sentenced on Friday to 21 years and 10 months in federal prison following his guilty plea in November 2011 to two counts of receiving child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

The investigation was conducted by the Fort Worth Police Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

In addition, U.S. District Judge John McBryde ordered that Michael S. Starowicz, 39, serve a lifetime of supervised release and register as a sex offender.

According to documents filed in the case, in September 2010, Fort Worth police officers responded to a "peeping tom" call at a residence in Fort Worth. The victims reported that their 10-year-old daughter reported seeing a video camera on the bathroom windowsill of their home as she was exiting the shower. Officers were once again dispatched to the home a few months later and they detained Starowicz, who had been seen filming from outside the victims' home.

Starowicz admitted to secretly taking photos and videos of individuals as they showered. The defendant also admitted that there would be child pornography on his home computer. An examination of all Starowicz's computers and related storage media items was performed and officers discovered child pornography. Starowicz admitted that he had obtained the child pornography via the Internet.

Deputy Criminal Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex C. Lewis, Northern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.

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. 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.