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Former acting HHS cyber security director convicted of engaging in child pornography enterprise

A former acting director of cyber security at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has been convicted on child pornography charges, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Timothy DeFoggi, 56, formerly of Germantown, MD, was convicted Tuesday of engaging in a child exploitation enterprise, conspiracy to advertise and distribute child pornography, and accessing a computer with intent to view child pornography in connection with his membership in a child pornography website. He was found guilty by a federal jury in the District of Nebraska Tuesday.

DeFoggi is the sixth person to be convicted as part of an ongoing investigation targeting three child pornography websites, according to the DOJ. The three websites were run by a single administrator, who has since been convicted in the District of Nebraska of engaging in a child exploitation enterprise in connection with his administration of the sites.

According to evidence presented at trial, DeFoggi registered as a website member on March 2, 2012, and maintained his membership and activity until Dec. 8, 2012, when the website was taken down by the FBI. Through the website, DeFoggi accessed child pornography, solicited child pornography from other members, and exchanged private messages with other members where he expressed an interest in the violent rape and murder of children, according to the DOJ. “DeFoggi even suggested meeting one member in person to fulfill their mutual fantasies to violently rape and murder children.”

The jury reached its verdict following a four-day trial before U.S. Chief District Judge Laurie Smith Camp. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 7, 2014.

The case is a result of investigative efforts led by the FBI’s Omaha Field Office. It was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Keith Becker and Sarah Chang of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, along with Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael P. Norris of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nebraska.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the DOJ. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute people who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.

 

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