Officials say the defendant videotaped his activities.
A stiff sentence was handed down on Friday to a former Hagerstown man for sexually abusing a child to produce child pornography. In US District Court in Baltimore, Thomas Leroy Griffin, Jr., 32, was given 30 years in prison. In addition, he will be put on a lifetime of supervised released, and be required to register as a sex offender wherever he works, lives or attends school.
The US Attorney's Office for Maryland says Griffin engaged in sexually explicit conduct with a girl, beginning when she was five or six years old, and then over the course of six years until August, 2010, when she was under the age of 12. Griffin also recorded these acts on videotape. The girl's mother found the tape and reported it to authorities.
Federal authorities say this case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat child sexual exploitation. The investigation was also part of Operation Predator, a nationwide program administered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to protect kids from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers.
Griffin has also pleaded guilty in Washington County Circuit Court to sexual abuse of a minor. The State's Attorney's Office there is expected to ask for a 30-year sentence to be served concurrent with his federal sentence.