16-Year Sentence For County Man

16-Year Sentence For County Man
16 Year

BERLIN — A Worcester County man this week was sentenced in federal court to 16 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervision after pleading guilty to producing and possessing over 8,000 images and videos of child pornography.

U.S. District Judge Ellen Hollander on Tuesday also ordered that upon his release Laiton Blake Witkowski,, 42, of Stockton, must register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).

According to his plea agreement, on Oct. 8, 2013, Witkowski used a file-sharing network which enabled a law enforcement officer to download from Witkowski’s computer. After further investigation, a search warrant was executed at Witkowski’s residence in February 2014. Computers, hard drives, other electronic devices and roughly 455 CDs and DVDs were seized, all of which either contained or were used to produce and store child pornography.

The CDs and DVDs also contained thousands of images and videos of child pornography, including images and videos involving prepubescent minors depicting sadism, masochism and other violence. Further analysis revealed Witkowksi had produced images and videos of child pornography of two girls during a period from August to September in 2009.

The girls were approximately 10 and 12 years old at the time. In some images, one victim appears to be sleeping, and in other images, a second victim is using the bathroom or sitting at a computer with Witkowski standing behind her in sexually explicit poses.

Witkowski was initially charged in Worcester County Circuit Court, but those charges were dropped when he was formally indicted in U.S. District Court last spring.

The case brought was part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. State’s Attorney’s Office and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit minors and to identify and rescue victims.