Cockeysville Youth Group Volunteer Pleads Guilty to Distribution of Child Pornography
BALTIMORE, MD—Gregory Wayne Gibson, age 63, of Cockeysville, Maryland pleaded guilty today to distribution of child pornography. For the past three to four years, Gibson was a volunteer youth group leader at a church in Baltimore County, working with children ages nine through eighteen. Gibson also assisted with childcare at his wife’s unlicensed home daycare, which included infants.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Acting Special Agent in Charge Ivan Arvelo of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department; and Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger.
According to Gibson’s plea agreement, he has been involved in the collection and distribution of child pornography. In July 2014, a detective from the Baltimore County Police Department (BCPD) downloaded a file containing child pornography that Gibson had made available using a file sharing program. The video file depicted a prepubescent female engaged in sexually explicit conduct with an adult male. On February 24, 2015, a BCPD detective again downloaded a video file made available by Gibson using a file sharing program, which depicted a minor female engaging in sexually explicit conduct. On April 16, 2015, a search warrant was executed at Gibson’s residence and at his employer’s location in Baltimore City. During the searches, investigator’s seized Gibson’s laptops and external hard drives, as well as two flash drives, all of which contained images and/or videos of child pornography.
Gibson voluntarily spoke to investigators admitted to using file sharing software to download child pornography. Child pornography was found during a forensic examination of Gibson’s laptops, external hard drives and flash drives, including the videos downloaded by the BCPD detectives during the investigation. The electronic media contained in excess of 260,000 images and videos. A preliminary review of those files revealed that the majority of these files depicted minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. There were also a significant number of images of child erotica and of images and videos depicting infants and toddlers engaging in sex acts with adults, including images and videos depicting bondage and anal penetration.
The forensic analysis of the digital evidence seized from Gibson’s residence and place of employment revealed that Gibson was acquiring images of child pornography as recently as five days before the state search warrant was executed.
As part of his plea agreement, Gibson must register as a 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).
Gibson faces a minimum mandatory sentence of five years in prison and a maximum of 20 in prison followed by up to lifetime of supervised release for distribution of child pornography. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett has scheduled sentencing for October 26, 2015 at 3:00 p.m.
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 Attorneys’ 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. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the “resources” tab on the left of the page.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, HSI Baltimore, the Baltimore County Police Department and Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul E. Budlow, who is prosecuting the case.