UPDATE: Mannion has been sentenced to more than 33 years in prison.
Original story below…
BALTIMORE, MD—A Baltimore County correctional officer from Carney pleaded guilty to child pornography charges on Monday.
Thomas Michael Mannion Jr., 46, of Carney, pleaded guilty in federal court to two counts of production of child pornography and admitted to engaging in sexually explicit conduct with two minor victims.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Special Agent in Charge John Eisert of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; Chief Melissa R. Hyatt of the Baltimore County Police Department; and Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger.
According to his guilty plea, Mannion rented the basement apartment of a townhome in Carney where he lived alone. On May 6, 2019, Baltimore County Police were called to a residence after a neighbor had seen Mannion in bed naked with a minor victim who was naked. When police arrived, they located the minor victim, who was 13 years old at the time, in the basement bedroom area.
Detectives determined that Mannion had met the victim a few months before on a social networking app. Mannion had initially met the victim on March 9, 2019, and brought him to his apartment, where they engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Mannion took photos and videos of the victim during the sexual encounter. Mannion admitted that on March 12, 2019 and March 17, 2019, as well as on additional occasions, he distributed the sexually explicit images of the victim to others. Mannion took additional sexually explicit photographs of the minor victim on May 6, 2019. A forensic analysis of Mannion’s cellphone revealed 21 images and two videos depicting the minor victim engaged in sexually explicit activity on March 9, 2019, and an additional eight images of the victim documenting the sexual activity on May 6, 2019.
As detailed in the plea agreement, Mannion also communicated with a second minor victim, a 14-year-old male, through the same social networking app. Mannion admitted that on April 17, 2019, Mannion went to the home of the second victim, where he engaged in sexual activity with the victim and took photographs and videos documenting the sexual contact. Mannion distributed the child pornography images of the second victim to multiple other users of the social networking app. The forensic analysis of Mannion’s cellphone recovered 18 images and two videos documenting the sexual activity with Minor Victim 2.
According to the plea agreement, Mannion attempted to meet with several other minors with whom he communicated on the social networking app, even after the minors advised Mannion of their ages. Mannion also discussed his sexual interest in other children that he knew or had contact with during sexually explicit chats with users of the app. In addition, a review of Mannion’s laptop computer revealed multiple images of child pornography.
Mannion faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison and a maximum of 30 years in federal prison for each of the two counts of production of child pornography, followed by up to lifetime supervised release. U.S. District Judge Stephanie A. Gallagher has scheduled sentencing for June 16, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.
Mannion was an employee of the Baltimore County Detention Center who resided in the 100-block of Bourbon Court (21234).