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Hagerstown man sentenced to 10 years for possession of child porn

Upon his release, Otha Royal Palmer also will have to register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, works and/or attends school

January 23, 2013

A U.S. District Court judge in Baltimore sentenced a Hagerstown man to serve 10 years in prison for possession of child pornography, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

Upon his release, Otha Royal Palmer, 58, formerly of 157 S. Potomac St. Apt. 2, also will have to register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, works and/or attends school, according to a Department of Justice news release and U.S. District Court documents.

U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Palmer on Tuesday as part of a plea arrangement, the release said. Palmer had two previous child pornography convictions, including a 2001 federal conviction for interstate transportation of child pornography, and was registered as a sex offender.

Authorities said they discovered in the fall of 2011 that Palmer was accessing and posting comments about child pornography on an Internet website. Palmer listed his preference on the site for 4- to 7-year-old girls, according to the release.

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Law enforcement officials executed a search warrant at Palmer’s South Potomac Street residence on Dec. 20, 2011, and seized his computer, the release and court documents said. An examination of the computer showed more than 600 images of children, including some younger than 12, engaging in explicit sexual conduct.

The case was investigated by the FBI-led Maryland Child Exploitation Task Force, which has members from 10 state and federal law enforcement agencies, and coordinates with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Maryland State Police Child Recovery Unit to identify missing and abused children.

Palmer’s case was brought as part of a nationwide initiative known as Project Safe Childhood. The initiative, which is led by the U.S. States Attorney’s Office and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, was launched in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.

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