Gaithersburg Man Indicted On Child Pornography Charges

He was convicted of 3rd-degree sex offense in 2000.



Greenbelt, Md (KM) A federal grand jury has indicted a Gaithersburg man for possession and distribution of child pornography. The US Attorney’s Office for Maryland says the indictment charges Bruce Ralph Sturtz, 73, with distributing child pornography over the internet on March 23rd, 2017, and for possessing the stuff on October 25th, 2017, including an image of a prepubescent minor.

In addition, federal officials say Sturtz has a prior conviction involving the sexual abuse of a minor. He was found guilty on October 6th, 2000 for 3rd degree sex offense in Montgomery County Circuit Court.

If convicted of the current  charges against him, Sturtz could face between ten to 20 years in prison for possession of child pornography, and between 15 and 40 years for distribution of child pornography.

The indictment was handed down on February 25th, and unsealed on Monday, March, 4th, as Sturtz was being arrested. A US District Judge in Greenbelt ordered Sturtz detained pending a detention hearing on Tuesday, March 5th before US Magistrate Judge Timothy Sullivan.

The US Attorney’s Office says an indictment is not a finding of guilt, and all suspects are innocent until proven guilty.

Federal officials say this case came about as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May, 2006 by the US Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.


By Kevin McManus