Rockwall Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Pornography Offense Involving Images of Prepubescent Children
DALLAS—A 32-year-old Rockwall, Texas, man appeared this morning in federal court, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Irma C. Ramirez, and pleaded guilty to an indictment charging one count of possession of prepubescent child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
Christopher Michael Burgess, who remains in federal custody, faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. Sentencing is set for April 20, 2015, before U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay.
According to documents filed in the case, in May 2013, an individual (mother) looked on Burgess’s computer, found child pornography, and immediately took the computer to the Rockwall Police Department. Based on this individual’s report, the officer was able to secure a warrant to search the computer’s content.
The North Texas Regional Computer Forensic Lab examined the hard drive and located more than 500 images and 10 videos of child pornography, some videos involving infants. Burgess admits that some of the videos he collected depicted sadistic and/or violent content.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative, which was launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals, who sexually exploit children, and identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/ and click on the tab “resources.”
The FBI and the Rockwall Police Department investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks is in charge of the prosecution.