Ellicott City man pleads guilty to second-degree rape

Trantham also faces 40 years in federal prison on child pornography charges

March 21, 2011|Don Markus, The Baltimore Sun

A 24-year-old Ellicott City man who prosecutors say sexually abused a 6-year-old girl pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree rape, just days after he pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges.

Jeffrey Trantham is expected to be sentenced next month to 40 years in prison on the pornography charges, according to Assistant State's Attorney Colleen McGuinn, who asked Howard County Circuit Judge Timothy J. McCrone to impose a 20-year sentence on the rape charge.

After he is released from prison, Trantham will have to register as a sex offender.

McGuinn called it "the worst case I've ever seen short of homicide" during her 10-year career as a prosecutor.

The incidents that led to the rape charge took place in August and September.

Howard County police received a call from police in Canada saying that a person who was arrested in Ontario on possession of child pornography told them that the pictures and webcam videos he received came from a person in the U.S. named "Jeff".

Police in Howard County traced the images to Trantham, who at first denied sending the pictures and videos over the Internet.

According to police, Trantham told the victim "not to tell anyone because they would get in trouble and he would go to jail for a long time."

Last week, Trantham pleaded guilty to producing and possessing child pornography. According to federal prosecutors, Trantham will receive up to 30 years for producing child pornography and another 10 years for possessing child pornography.

More than 600 images and several videos depicting child pornography were found on Trantham's computer, according to prosecutors. Trantham admitted to taking sexually explicit photos and sending them to at least three people.

don.markus@baltsun.com

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