Hinsdale Man Pleads Guilty to Child Exploitation Charge
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 14, 2014|
CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE—Benjamin Maes, 32, of Hinsdale, pled guilty in United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire to one count of sexual exploitation of children, announced United States Attorney John P. Kacavas.
The investigation began in November, 2012, when an FBI/Metropolitan D.C. Police Department task force received images of child pornography from an individual from Hinsdale, New Hampshire. Benjamin Maes had been communicating with an undercover agent online and had sent the agent sexually explicit images of children. He was arrested in December of 2012, pursuant to a federal arrest warrant issued in the District of Columbia.
Various electronic items belonging to Maes were seized pursuant to a search warrant and forensic examination of his cellular phones revealed numerous images of child pornography, including images of Maes engaged in sexually explicit conduct with a minor.
The defendant faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years in prison when he is sentenced on June 27, 2014.
The charge was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Washington D.C., Metropolitan Police Department, the Hinsdale Police Department, and the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is being prosecuted under Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative by the U.S. 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 (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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Helen White Fitzgibbon.