Former Maryland mayor known for LGBTQ activism learns sentence after heinous child pornography conviction
A former Maryland mayor and prominent LGBTQ activist, who was convicted earlier this year in a heinous child pornography case, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Patrick Wojahn, who resigned as mayor of College Park, Maryland, on March 2 before his arrest, pleaded guilty to 140 charges related to child pornography as part of a deal struck with prosecutors. He was sentenced to a total of 150 years, with all but 30 years suspended, but he will still be eligible for parole in 7.5 years under state law, the Washington Post reported. The conviction came after investigators linked an account sharing illegal images to his government email address.
“I feel the remorse,” Prince George’s County Circuit Court Judge Karen Mason said of Wojahn Monday during an emotional hearing during which prosecutors read hours of victim impact statements. ‘take responsibility.’
Authorities say the 48-year-old uploaded and shared dozens of photos and videos depicting child sexual abuse, including the indecent rape of boys by adults, to social media apps in January, said The Post. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children notified the Prince George’s County Police Department about the social media activity in mid-February.
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During their investigation, police determined a social media account with the screen name “skippy_md” belonged to Wojahn, FOX 5 DC reported.
With a subpoena, investigators found that a Wojahn College Park government email address was listed as a recovery email for the Kik account. Wojahn’s phone number and home IP address were linked to the account, according to authorities, who say the former mayor used a virtual private network to hide his location when he accessed the account.
Clearer images were also found on the social media app Telegram.
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Court records show Wojahn was indicted by a grand jury in March on 80 counts of possessing and intending to distribute child pornography, which was increased to 140 counts in May through an indictment filed in the place He pleaded guilty in August to all 60 counts of distributing child pornography, 40 counts of possession of child pornography and 40 counts of possessing child pornography with intent to distribute. Of those children featured in Wojahn’s hundreds of photos and videos he shared, law enforcement identified 52 child victims, some of whom are now adults, in cooperation with the Task Force Program Internet Crimes Against Children Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Their victim impact statements in court read detailed struggles with extreme anxiety, paranoia, poor sleep, trust issues and a sense of safety, and some said they had been stopped and taken away from their families and their own children after being exposed as victims. about children’s online use.
The judge cited Wojahn’s own history as a victim of sexual abuse and also heard calls of support from 16 people in the courtroom who spoke about Wojahn’s history of public service before sentencing the former high- sent a factor to the Patuxent Institute, a treatment-oriented peak. maximum security prison in Maryland.
Wojahn himself addressed the courtroom on Monday to apologize.
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“I know I contributed to that, and I’m very sorry … I recognize the damage I’ve done,” he said, according to the Post.
“I want to be the person they know to be,” he told the community, before addressing her husband, “I love you too very much.”
Wojahn, an outspoken LGBTQ advocate and Georgetown University Law School graduate who joined a lawsuit with her now-husband against the state of Maryland in 2006 to make marriage a right for same-sex couples in the state, served City Park City. Council for eight years until he was elected mayor in November 2015. He held that position for seven years until he resigned earlier this year.