Maryland Man Pleads Guilty to Traveling into the District of Columbia to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct with a Minor
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 16, 2013|
WASHINGTON—Scott Richard Swirling, 62, of Silver Spring, Maryland, pled guilty today to traveling interstate to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Jr.; Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Swirling entered the guilty plea in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The Honorable John D. Bates is to sentence him on July 11, 2013. Swirling faces a maximum sentence of 30 years of imprisonment as well as a fine of up to $250,000.
According to the government’s evidence, on January 7, 2013, Swirling contacted a man he believed to be the father of an under-aged girl on a social networking site. That man turned out to be an undercover officer with the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force. Over the next few days, Swirling engaged in graphic online e-mail and instant message conversations with the undercover officer. During these conversations, Swirling arranged with the undercover officer to meet for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts with the child. Swirling traveled from Silver Spring to a pre-arranged meeting place in Washington, D.C., where he was arrested.
This case was brought as part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood initiative and investigated by the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes members of the FBI’s Washington Field Office and MPD. In February 2006, the Attorney General created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorney’s 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
In announcing the guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Machen, Assistant Director Parlave and Chief Lanier praised the work of the MPD detectives and special agents of the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force. They also commended the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorney Ari Redbord, who is prosecuting the case.