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Clear Spring man pleads guilty to sexually exploiting a minor to make child porn

Kenneth Eugene Norris will be sentenced to 15 years in prison and must register as a sex offender

July 19, 2011

A Clear Spring man indicted by a federal grand jury in June for making sexually explicit videos of girls pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore to sexually exploiting a minor to produce child pornography.

As part of the plea agreement, Kenneth Eugene Norris, 52, will be sentenced to 15 years in prison and must register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee and where he is a student, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.

Norris is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 19 by U.S. District Judge Benson Everett Legg, the release said.

It was an investigation by law-enforcement authorities in Spain that led to the FBI investigating Norris, the release said. Spanish authorities identified file-sharing websites from which child pornography was being downloaded, the release said.

That led to the FBI searching Norris' home, the release said. A compact disc was found showing two girls under the age of 12 engaged in sexually explicit conduct, the release said.

The nude girls performed gymnastic exercises under Norris' direction, and the images were produced in Maryland, the release said.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James G. Warwick as part of Project Safe Childhood, a U.S. Department of Justice initiative launched in 2006 to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse, the release said.

Norris was indicted on charges of distribution of child pornography, production of child pornography and possession of child pornography, according to the indictment handed down on June 9.

The video files of the two minor females was produced about August 2010, the indictment said.

The distribution charge alleged Norris knowingly distributed "visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct" and listed five titles.

The titles of the files listed the ages for the children ranging from a 3-year-old boy to an 11-year-old girl, the indictment said.

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