BALTIMORE — A 24-year-old Elkton man was sentenced to 30 years in prison followed by lifetime supervised release for the production of child pornography.
According to his plea agreement, in 2012 Frank Ray Leary, Jr. distributed images of child pornography using a file-sharing network. In 2014 and 2015, Leary sent e-mails containing images and videos of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct, including prepubescent minors. In September 2015, Leary used a messaging application to participate in group chats during which the members of the group discussed the sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, shared files of child pornography, and commented on the files.
As detailed in his plea agreement, on August 1, 2018, law enforcement executed a search warrant for Leary’s person and his residence, seizing his mobile phone, among other things. Following an examination of the phone, they found that Leary used a messaging application on his phone to induce at least six minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct and send Leary images of that conduct.
Leary admitted that he engaged in sexually explicit chats with five other victims from around the world, including Germany, Bulgaria, California, and Kentucky and requested images of the victims engaged in sexually explicit conduct, often directed by Leary.
In addition, Leary shared images of child pornography with the victims and other minors, sending them links to accounts he maintained.
Finally, according to the plea agreement, a 5-year-old victim disclosed that he had been abused by Leary between 2017 and 2018.
“Frank Ray Leary, Jr. preyed on vulnerable young victims, including a 5-year-old boy,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “Law enforcement agencies will continue to work to identify and prosecute those who harm our children.”
Leary must register as a sex offender in the places where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).