Crime, Police/Fire

Fallston man sentenced to 15 years in prison for distribution of child pornography

BALTIMORE, MD—A Fallston man has been sentenced to prison on child pornography charges.

U.S. District Judge Stephanie A. Gallagher on Monday sentenced Robert Jackson Wyatt Jr., 54, of Fallston, to 15 years in federal prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, for distribution of child pornography. Wyatt had a previous federal conviction for possession of child pornography. Judge Gallagher ordered that, upon his release from prison, Wyatt must register as a sex offender in the places 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 Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge James C. Harris of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; Colonel Roland L. Butler, Jr., Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey R. Gahler and Harford County State’s Attorney Alison Healey.

According to his guilty plea, on August 31, 2021, members of the Maryland State Police were conducting an investigation into offenders sharing child pornography using a communication protocol for peer-to-peer file sharing that enables users to distribute data and electronic files over the Internet in a decentralized manner. An IP address that was sharing suspected child pornography was identified as belonging to Wyatt and a search warrant for his home was executed on October 1, 2021. Investigators learned that Wyatt was not home but was at a nearby marina on his boat where he often spent time. Investigators went to the marina and watched as Wyatt walked from his boat to his car. Wyatt then drove back to his residence, where he was confronted by investigators.

Wyatt consented to a search of his cell phone and an MSP digital forensic examiner found several files of child pornography on the phone. A peer-to-peer filesharing program was installed on the phone, as well as a virtual private network application and an anti-forensic application. On a chat application, Wyatt belonged to chat groups including “Incest and Little Girl” and “mommy and daughter.” On October 26, 2022, a search warrant was executed on Wyatt’s boat. Two thumb drives were found with multiple images and videos of child pornography, including several known series involving depictions of babies, toddlers, and sadomasochistic abuse of children. Several of the files located on Wyatt’s devices matched those that were distributed during the MSP investigation via the peer-to-peer file sharing originating from the suspect IP address.

Wyatt admitted that he was the person who shared the files with the MSP investigator on August 31, 2021. In total, over 1170 images files and over 170 video files were located on Wyatt’s devices.

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 Attorney’s 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.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

Please follow and like us: