A former Maryland mayor and well-known LGBTQ activist convicted earlier this year in a heinous child pornography case was sentenced Monday to 30 years in prison.
Patrick Wojahn, who resigned as mayor of College Park, Maryland, on March 2 before his arrest, pleaded guilty to 140 child pornography-related charges as part of a deal with prosecutors . He was sentenced to 150 years in prison in total, with 30 years suspended, but he will still be eligible for parole in 7.5 years under state law, the Washington Post reported. The conviction came after investigators linked an account sharing illicit images to his government email address.
“I feel remorse,” Prince George’s County Circuit Court Judge Karen Mason said of Wojahn Monday during an emotional hearing in which prosecutors read hours of victim impact statements. “And I know you take responsibility.”
Authorities say the 48-year-old man uploaded and shared dozens of photos and videos depicting explicit sexual abuse of children, including the rape of prepubescent boys by adults, on social media apps in January, The Post reported. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children notified the Prince George’s County Police Department of the social media activity in mid-February.
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Through their investigation, police determined that a social media account with the screen name “skippy_md” belonged to Wojahn, FOX 5 DC reported.
Through a subpoena, investigators discovered that Wojahn’s College Park government email address was listed as the Kik account recovery email. Wojahn’s phone number and personal IP address were linked to the account, according to authorities, who say the former mayor used a virtual private network to mask his location when accessing the account.
More explicit images were also found on the social media app Telegram.
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Court records show Wojahn was indicted in March by a grand jury on 80 counts of possession and intent to distribute child pornography, which was increased to 140 counts in May through an act substitute charge. He pleaded guilty in August to 60 counts of distribution of child pornography, 40 of possession of child pornography and 40 of possession of child pornography with intent to distribute. Among the children depicted in the hundreds of photos and videos that Wojahn possessed and shared, law enforcement identified 52 child victims, some of whom are now adults, in conjunction with the Crimes Against Children Task Force program. children on the Internet of the Ministry of Justice and the National Center for Disappearances and Disappearances. Exploited children.
Their victim impact statements read in court detailed their struggles with extreme anxiety, paranoia, poor sleep, trust issues and feelings of safety, and some said they were stalked and forced to move in with their current family and friends. own children after being denounced as victims. online child exploitation.
The judge cited Wojahn’s own past as a victim of sexual abuse and also heard supportive statements from 16 people in the courtroom who spoke about Wojahn’s history in public service before ruling to return the former mayor to Patuxent Institution, a treatment-oriented maximum risk facility. security prison in Maryland.
Wojahn himself addressed the courtroom Monday to apologize.
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“I know I contributed to this, and I am deeply, deeply sorry…I recognize the damage I caused,” he said, according to the Post.
“I want to be the person they know me to be,” she told the community, before addressing her husband: “I love you very much, too.”
Wojahn, a staunch LGBTQ advocate and Georgetown University Law School graduate who joined a lawsuit with her current husband against the state of Maryland in 2006 to make marriage a right for couples of same sex in the state, had served at College Park City. Council for eight years until he was elected mayor in November 2015. He held the position for seven years until he resigned earlier this year.
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