McKee sentenced for child porn

November 22, 2008|By Tricia Bishop | Tricia Bishop,

Robert A. McKee, a former Maryland delegate and executive director of a Washington County children's program, was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison yesterday for possession of child pornography, the Maryland U.S. attorney's office announced.

U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles Jr. also ordered McKee to register as a sex offender and said that "a reputation is easier to build than it is to repair."

McKee apologized to his family and community, acknowledging that he had let them down and violated their trust.

"In the eyes of the law, I committed a crime. In the eyes of God, I committed a sin," said McKee, who was a First Christian Church trustee and executive director of the Hagerstown Big Brothers Big Sisters program when the investigation was revealed Feb. 15.

He resigned the same day from Big Brothers and the General Assembly, where had served for 13 years as a Republican in the House of Delegates and was chairman of the Western Maryland delegation.

Kelly Williams, spokeswoman for Philadelphia-based Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, said in a statement: "We are aware of the news of the sentencing and applaud law enforcement's efforts in investigating and prosecuting this case."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bonnie S. Greenberg told the judge that during the time McKee was in possession of child porn, he had sponsored, co-sponsored or voted for a number of child-protection bills, including the Child Protection from Predators Act this year.

"This is an individual who should have known better. He knew the law," Greenberg said. She also acknowledged his public service efforts.

According to a plea agreement signed by McKee and filed with the U.S. District Court in Baltimore, officers from the Washington County sheriff's department found sexual images of prepubescent teens on McKee's computer and within his Hagerstown residence.

An investigation concluded that McKee, 59, had obtained pornographic images of children through Internet Web sites and a mail-order service since at least 2004. McKee's journals corroborated the findings, documenting at least five visits to Web sites where McKee viewed and printed sexual images of children. He also printed stories describing sexual conduct between adults and boys.

McKee's journals said he would look at the images while reading the stories.

McKee will remain on home detention with electronic monitoring until he reports to prison in January. He will be subject to lifetime supervision upon release from prison.

His attorneys did not return a call requesting comments.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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