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BALTIMORE—U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. sentenced Windsor Warner Kessler, age 25, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to 10 years in prison, followed by supervised release for life, for possessing child pornography. Judge Quarles ordered that upon his release from prison, Kessler must register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department.
According to the plea agreement and court documents, on January 10, 2008, Kessler pleaded guilty in Baltimore County to a third-degree sex offense arising from having sex with a 13-year-old minor. Consequently, he is a registered sex offender.
On January 31, 2011, a Baltimore County detective downloaded two child pornography videos using a peer-to-peer program. Further investigation revealed that the IP from which the videos were downloaded was assigned to Kessler’s father in Baltimore County, Maryland.
On February 23, 2011, law enforcement executed a search warrant at the Kessler home. All the occupants confirmed that the one computer at the residence was used primarily by Kessler. Kessler confessed to downloading, viewing, and saving child pornography on his computer, keeping the child pornography in a hidden folder. He confessed to having downloaded child pornography videos as recently as January 2011.
A forensic analysis of the computer and two DVDs found in Kessler’s bedroom revealed 23 videos and seven still images depicting child pornography, including images depicting sadistic and masochistic conduct and images of pre-pubescent children.
This 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 Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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 to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov . Details about Maryland’s program are available at www.justice.gov/usao/md/Safe-Childhood/index.html.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended ICE-HSI, the FBI, and Baltimore County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin S. Herring, who prosecuted the case.
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