Probe Originating In Australia Leads To Area Man’s Guilty Plea

BERLIN – A Berlin man pleaded guilty on Tuesday in federal court to sexually exploiting a minor to produce child pornography after a complaint filed in Australia back in November about the content of Internet images led to a multi-national effort to track him back to Berlin.

According to a plea agreement reached on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, on Nov. 8, 2006, Australian Federal Police received a complaint from viewers on ANYwebcam.com, an Australian Internet content host, alleging a male child was being sexually assaulted on a webcam by an adult male, later identified as Roderick Gene Parks, 42, of Berlin. A multi-national investigation that began with Australian federal authorities and ended with their counterparts in the U.S. revealed that on Nov. 7, 2006, Parks produced and sent by webcam over the Internet disturbing live images of him molesting an 11-year-old boy from his home in Berlin.

The child was in the custody of Parks, who was watching him after school while his mother worked. The minor boy and his mother had been living with Parks since last August.

The Statement of Facts in the case attached to the official plea agreement describes in great detail the sexually explicit material floated on the web by Parks. The images include Parks with the child on his lap in various stages of undress while Parks touches his private parts.

ANYwebcam.com, the Australian-based Internet content host, captured the images produced and sent around the world by Parks and provided them to the Australian Federal Police Online Child Exploitation Team (OCSET). The Internet server for ANYwebcam.com is based in New York City and the investigation revealed the sexually explicit images produced by Parks were transported from Berlin to New York and later on to Australia.

U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein praised the collaborative efforts by officials in Australia and the U.S. for tracking the disturbing Internet images to Parks, who was arrested on Dec. 1, 2006 and remains incarcerated.

“The police in Australia received a complaint and immediately coordinated with the international community in order to apprehend the offender and rescue the child,” he said. “This case is an example of international cooperation among law enforcement to stop the production of child pornography around the world.”

Parks now faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in jail and a maximum sentence of 30 years followed by a lifetime of supervised release.

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