Gaithersburg sex offender sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for possession of child pornography | USAO-MD

green belt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm today sentenced Bruce Ralph Sturtz, 73, of Gaithersburg, Md., To 10 years in federal prison, followed by 10 years on probation, for possession of pornography juvenile. Judge Grimm also ordered that upon his release from prison, Sturtz continue to register as a sex offender in the places where he resides, is employed and where he is a student, under the Law of registration and notification of sex offenders (SORNA).

The sentence was announced by the Acting United States Attorney General for the District of Maryland, Jonathan F. Lenzner; Acting Special Agent in Charge Rachel Byrd, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Colonel Woodrow W. Jones III, Maryland State Police Superintendent.

According to the Sturtz plea agreement, on February 26, 2017, a Maryland State Police (“MSP”) investigator conducted an online investigation into Sturtz after three law enforcement officers working by Through the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (“ICAC”) downloaded child pornographic videos from a device to an IP address assigned to Sturtz’s residence. The investigator discovered that Sturtz’s computer was running software that allowed other users to download a video that had previously been identified as child pornography. The investigator downloaded and viewed the video, which documented the sexual abuse of a prepubescent woman.

Less than a month later, on March 23-24, 2017, investigators conducting online investigations of offenders sharing child pornography focused on the Sturtz device because it was running the same computer software. Investigators downloaded and viewed videos shared by the Sturtz device, which contained images of prepubescent women engaging in sexually explicit behaviors, including bondage and bestiality.

On October 25, 2017, a federal search warrant was executed at Sturtz’s residence. At the time the search warrant was executed, Sturtz was downloading child pornography to his computer. The police seized a number of electronic devices. A subsequent forensic analysis of the seized electronic devices revealed at least 1,356 videos and 16 images depicting child pornography. Videos and images found on seized electronic devices included child pornography of babies and toddlers, other children under the age of 12, including incest, bondage, bestiality and sexual acts between adults and child victims. Forensic analysts were also able to identify on the seized electronic devices the three video files that investigators downloaded from Sturtz’s device.

Sturz has previously been convicted of a sex offense involving a minor. On October 6, 2000, Sturtz pleaded guilty to a third degree sex offense in Circuit Court in Montgomery County, Md., And was subsequently sentenced to 10 years in prison, with all but eighteen months suspended. , plus five years of probation.

This case was brought within the framework of the Safe Childhood Project, a national 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 Attorney’s Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the Criminal Division, Project Safe Childhood brings together federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information on the Safe Childhood Project, please visit www.justice.gov/psc. For more information on Internet Safety Education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the “Resources” tab on the left of the page.

Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended the FBI and the Maryland State Police Task Force on Internet Crimes Against Children for their work in this investigation. Mr. Lenzner thanked Deputy US Prosecutors Leah B. Grossi and Joseph R. Baldwin, who pursued the federal case.

For more information on the Maryland US Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and the resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md/project-safe-childhood and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.

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