Former Navy Employee Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Offenses with Multiple Victims

Silver Spring Man Enticed Young Boys to Take and Send to him Sexually Explicit Videos and Photographs

News Release, U.S. Attorney’s Office;District of Maryland

GreenbeltMaryland – Spencer Eugene Steckman, age 35, a Navy employee formerly of Silver Spring, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to the production, transportation, and possession of child pornography.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; and Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office.

According to admissions made in connection with his plea agreement, between August 17, 2017, and September 22, 2017, while in Maryland, Steckman enticed a thirteen-year-old boy to take, and send to Steckman, photographs of the boy engaged in sexually explicit conduct, in exchange for money and PlayStation videogame redemption codes.  Between September 24, 2017, and December 4, 2017, Steckman enticed another thirteen-year-old boy to take, and send to Steckman, photographs and videos of the boy engaged in sexually explicit conduct, in exchange for an iPhone.  In mid-November 2017, Steckman moved to Japan for work, where he transported and possessed the child pornography.

Steckman was detained by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) in Japan on March 27, 2018, and transported back to Maryland by the United States Marshals Service to appear before the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.  He has remained in custody since that time.

Further investigation revealed eight other victims whom Steckman had enticed to produce child pornography, ranging in age from twelve to seventeen years old, and dating back to 2008-2010, when Steckman was residing in San Diego, California.

As part of his plea agreement, Steckman 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).

Steckman and the government have agreed that, if the Court accepts the plea, Steckman will be sentenced to between 25 and 45 years in federal prison.  U.S. District Court Judge Paul W. Grimm scheduled sentencing for November 7, 2019.

This investigation was a 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 U.S. 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.justice.gov/psc.

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the FBI, the NCIS, and the Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff’s Office for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Baldwin and Trial Attorney Jessica Urban of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), who are prosecuting the case.