Audey Frances Murphy, 45, of Dundalk, Md., pleaded guilty today to possession of child pornography, announced U. S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein, as a result of an investigation involving U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ( ICE ).
According to his plea agreement, Murphy was sentenced to eight years in prison on Jan. 31, 2001, after being convicted of second degree rape in state court involving the repeated sexual abuse of a minor female over a two year period, beginning when the victim was 11 years old. As a result of the conviction, Murphy was required to register as a sex offender.
Murphy was released from custody in November 2006, but in October 2007, a family member reported to authorities that Murphy had unauthorized contact with minors, specifically, that Murphy had picked up his brother's minor children from school. Murphy was arrested on Oct. 11, 2007, was found to be in violation of his parole and ordered to serve the balance of his original sentence, which translated into a projected release date in January 2009.
An unrelated child pornography investigation led Maryland State Police to the Dundalk home of Murphy's mother on Nov. 15, 2007. Murphy's mother confirmed that Murphy had lived in her upstairs bedroom, and that he had used the computers in both his room and in the den. On March 3, 2008, Maryland State Police executed a search warrant at the residence and seized the computers, including the computer from Murphy's bedroom. Forensic analysis of the computer revealed 71 videos of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct, including a video depicting bondage and bestiality with a pre-pubescent female.
Murphy faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, followed by supervised release up to life. U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz scheduled sentencing for Sept. 24, 2009 at 9:00 a.m.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section ( CEOS ), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov. Details about Maryland's program are available at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/md/Safe-Childhood/index.html.
Rosenstein praised ICE and the Maryland State Police for their investigation. Rosenstein also thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Solette A. Magnelli and Judson T. Mihok, who are prosecuting the case.