August 17, 2007

Va. man pleads guilty to child pornography

A Virginia man pleaded guilty yesterday to a federal child pornography charge for taking pictures of a girl in a makeshift studio in a backyard shed and storing them on his office computer in Silver Spring, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Maryland.

Jack T. DuFrain, 60, of Manassas could receive a maximum of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt on Nov. 2. Prosecutors said they have identified the child used in the photos and have "taken steps to protect her." Authorities said DuFrain worked for the Kaiser Permanente Foundation.

Prosecutors said that Kaiser officials discovered the photos during a computer audit and notified police. The office computer contained more than 10 video and still images that prosecutors said had been recorded over two years in a red wooden shed on the man's property in Manassas.

The prosecutors said DuFrain built a makeshift backdrop using white plastic shower curtains, sheets and insulation. They said different backdrops were used for different videos, and that the girl, who was age 10 when the sessions started, was posed and dressed differently each time.

"In a number of the images, [the girl] seemingly protests and resists as DuFrain instructs her to place her foot on his shoulder area while he snaps pictures with his digital camera," according to the statement of facts read by prosecutors at yesterday's hearing.

Prosecutors said DuFrain told investigators that he used his work computer to digitally alter the photos to make them more explicit.


: Federal court

Broker sentenced to two years

A stockbroker from West Virginia was sentenced yesterday to two years in federal prison for defrauding clients, many of them in Maryland, out of more than $1.2 million in investment schemes, the Maryland U.S. attorney's office said.

Myrle Conley Grose Jr., 40, also has been ordered to pay restitution to the victims and serve three years of supervised probation upon his release, prosecutors said.

According to his guilty plea in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, Grose persuaded clients to invest with him or lend him money, promising them a "guaranteed rate of return," prosecutors said in a statement. "Instead, Grose used the funds to pay his personal expenses, and for gambling and high-risk investments."

Prosecutors said Grose defrauded 24 victims.

Man given 2 1/2 years in ID theft

A man from the Dominican Republican was sentenced yesterday to 2 1/2 years in federal prison for aggravated identity theft and making false statements in application for and use of a passport, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Maryland.

U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett also sentenced Jose Nicholas Perez-Martinez, 45, to three years of supervised release, prosecutors said.

Perez-Martinez had applied in 1997 for a U.S. passport in the name of an American citizen born in Puerto Rico, prosecutors said. That year, he obtained a Maryland driver's license with that person's name, which he renewed in 2001 and 2005.

According to a guilty plea, Perez-Martinez falsely used that person's name, Social Security number and birth certificate to obtain the documents. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested Perez-Martinez on Jan. 29.

Eastern Shore

: Cambridge

Guard officer wins valor medal

A Maryland National Guard member who helped people injured in a fatal car crash in Talbot County has been awarded the Maryland Medal for Valor.

1st Lt. Amy L. Matthews of Cambridge was on a highway near Easton on June 9 when she saw a car accident. According to the award citation, "Without regard for her own personal safety, she immediately took control of the situation, administered medical attention to those seriously injured and kept everyone at the situation calm."

Matthews served as a combat medic in Iraq. She is a clinical nurse assigned to the Joint Force Headquarters Medical Detachment at Camp Fretterd Military Reservation in Reisterstown.

The medal is the second-highest state award a member of the Maryland National Guard can earn.

Associated Press

Kent County

: Galena

Woman said to get cow drug

A dairy farmer is accused of giving a cattle hormone to a woman he got pregnant in hopes of inducing a miscarriage. Police said William Stanley Sutton III, 25, added ProstaMate last week to a soda he gave to Lauren Ashley Tucker, 21.

Tucker vomited after drinking a 20-ounce soda that "tasted nasty and burnt her throat," according to court records. She went to the hospital Aug. 9, and the hospital reported a possible poisoning to police. The fetus survived, and Tucker, who was treated and released, is 15 weeks pregnant.

ProstaMate is a hormone given to cows in the breeding process to bring all cows in heat at the same time. It also can be used to stimulate an early term abortion in a heifer that gets pregnant too young or a cow that mates with an undesired bull.

Tucker told authorities Sutton tried to get her to drink more of the soda, "telling her that soda helps an upset stomach," according to charging documents. She told police that Sutton is the father of her child, and that he wanted her to have an abortion, the records said. Sutton was charged Monday with reckless endangerment, assault and knowingly and willingly contaminating Tucker's drink by adding poison or poisonous matter.

Sutton said he didn't mean to harm Tucker, just to cause her to miscarry, according to police.

Sutton's lawyer, Mitch Mowell, did not immediately return calls for comment yesterday. Sutton has been released on $50,000 bond and was ordered to have no contact with Tucker.

Associated Press

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