The Department of Justice today recognized the Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children task force for its investigation and subsequent arrest of a suspected sexual predator who abused local children since the 1970s and created child pornography from those encounters.
Acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio presented the Attorney General’s Special Commendation to representatives of the task force during the Department’s National Missing Children’s Day ceremony. The special commendation recognizes Internet Crimes Against Children task forces or affiliate agencies for making significant investigative or program contributions.
“The vigilance exhibited by this task force exemplifies the positive results that cooperation among federal, state, and local authorities can have in bringing perpetrators of these heinous crimes to justice,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jesse Panuccio. “The Department applauds their efforts and stands with them as we continue working to improve public safety for America’s children.”
The task force’s investigation also led to the identification of 26 of the suspect’s victims, some of whom were sexually abused as far back as the 1970s. The suspect was charged with multiple counts of sex offenses involving the abuse of a child. The investigation and subsequent warrant on the suspect’s residence was coordinated between the Maryland State Police, the Talbot County, Maryland, Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations.
The Department also recognized two law enforcement officers for their investigations of sexual predators who sexually assaulted local children and youth and a private citizen who intervened to rescue an abducted baby. Panuccio also recognized Eden Hoffmann, a fifth grader at Huron Elementary School in Clinton Township, Michigan, as the 19th winner of the National Missing Children’s Day poster contest.