Fort Washington Man Sentenced to Over Seven Years in Prison for Distributing and Possessing Child Pornography

GREENBELT, MD—U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus sentenced James Connolly, age 64, of Fort Washington, Maryland, today to 90 months in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release for distributing and possessing child pornography. Judge Titus ordered Connolly to pay a $5,000 fine and restitution of $1,500 to an identified victim whose sexual abuse was documented in some of the images Connolly possessed. Judge Titus also ordered that Connolly must register as 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 United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to Connolly’s plea agreement, on September 16, 2009 and December 7, 2009, using the screen name “Oldman 7448,” Connolly distributed 30 and 78 images of child pornography, respectively, to undercover law enforcement officers through an on-line file sharing program. As part of the investigation, a search warrant was executed at Connolly’s home on April 7, 2010, and agents seized Connolly’s computers and other digital media. A forensic examination found that the computers and hard drives utilized by Connolly contained approximately 50,000 images and 490 videos depicting children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Connolly admitted that he had been downloading and viewing child pornography for over 20 years and the he viewed child pornography to stop himself from molesting children.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov. Details about Maryland’s program are available at www.justice.gov/usao/md/Safe-Childhood/index.html.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI for its work in this investigation and thanked Special Assistant U.S. Attorney LisaMarie Freitas, assigned from the Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, who prosecuted the case.

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