Greenbelt, Maryland – Steven Edward Baker, age 41, of Kensington, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to producing child pornography.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Kevin Perkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.
According to his plea agreement, on July 8, 2015, FBI agents interviewed Baker at his business, Action Signs, located in Vienna, Virginia. Baker admitted that he had child pornography on both his work and home computers, and that he had been downloading child pornography for approximately 10 years. He estimated that his child pornography collection was approximately one terabyte in size.
Further investigation of digital media items obtained from Action Signs and Baker’s residence revealed 45 images and seven videos of a girl under the age of 12, all constituting child pornography, and produced by Baker. Baker produced the images and videos, including pictures taken at a park and what appears to be Baker’s home, from January 2008 to July 2013, using two cameras. The images included close ups of the victim in various states of undress, including numerous close-ups of the victim’s genitalia, and showing Baker touching areas in and around her genitalia.
Additionally, over 50,000 images and 1,000 videos of child pornography were found on the digital media which were not produced by Baker, but were downloaded from the internet. These images and videos depict real, prepubescent children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
As part of his plea agreement, Baker 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 (SORNA).
Baker and the government have agreed that if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Baker faces between 15 and 24 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm has scheduled sentencing for October 14, 2016 at 9:00 a.m.
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.justice.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the "resources" tab on the left of the page.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI for its work in the investigation and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas M. Sullivan, who is prosecuting the case.