Australian Citizen Enters Guilty Plea for Possessing Child Pornography
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 01, 2011|
HOUSTON—Christopher Mark King, 55, has been convicted of one count of possession of child pornography, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. King, a citizen of Australia and a legal permanent resident living in the Houston area, entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal in Houston just a short time ago.
The charge against King was the result of an investigation conducted by members of the FBI’s Innocent Images Task Force, which focuses its attention on investigating offenses involving the exploitation of children via the Internet. The case was brought to the attention of the FBI by King’s employer Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR), who discovered images they believed were child pornography when they were servicing King’s company-issued laptop. KBR notified the FBI, who conducted additional investigation leading to the discovery of several hundred images of child pornography.
At his plea hearing today, King admitted to possessing those images on an external hard drive he used to back up files from his KBR-issued laptop.
King was allowed to remain on bond pending his sentencing hearing, which is set for May 15, 2012, at which time he faces a sentence of up to 10 years’ imprisonment and a possible fine of $250,000. Additionally, upon completion of any prison term imposed, King faces a maximum of life on supervised release during which the court can impose a number of special conditions designed to protect the children and prohibit the use of the Internet. King may face deportation as well.
This case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherri L. Zack, 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. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices, 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 to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.