Airman at Joint Base Andrews pleads guilty to abusive sexual contact with a child

Press Release, Department of Justice, District of Maryland

Greenbelt, Maryland – Mitchell Oren Smith, age 28, an Airman in the U.S. Air Force, pleaded guilty today to abusive sexual contact with a child, which occurred while he resided at Joint Base Andrews in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Adanto D’Amore, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Joint Base Andrews.

According to his plea agreement, from at least July 22, 2017 and continuing for several months, Smith engaged in sexually explicit conduct with a child victim who was under 10 years of age.  In the course of his abuse of the child, Smith also admitted that he photographed the abuse.  Investigators recovered a digital photograph from Smith’s cellular phone documenting his abuse of the victim.  All of these events occurred while Smith resided at Joint Base Andrews.

As part of his plea agreement, Smith will be required to 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).

Smith and the government have agreed that if the Court accepts the plea agreement Smith will be sentenced to between 240 and 448 months in prison.  U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm has scheduled sentencing for February 15, 2019, at 2:00 p.m. 

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.  For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the “Resources” tab on the left of the page.       

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the FBI and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph R. Baldwin and Jennifer R. Sykes, who are prosecuting the federal case.

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