A Rockville man was sentenced to seven years in prison in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt Monday as part of a nationwide safe childhood initiative run by the U.S. Department of Justice.
John Raley, 43, will also serve 10 years of supervised probation after he is released from prison and must register as a sex offender, according to Judge Roger W. Titus’s sentence. Raley was arrested in spring of 2011 and charged with possession of child pornography and the distribution of up to 187 such images to at least 23 different social media sites during the federal investigation into his username — from August to December, 2009 — according to his plea agreement. A 2011 search of his home and work computers uncovered more than 200,000 images of child pornography and 4,082 videos of child pornography, the agreement goes on to state.
Marcia Murphy, a spokeswoman for the justice department, could not clarify exactly how Raley’s username was identified and what prompted investigators to launch an investigation into his online activity, but the websites and networks he was sharing images on are known to contain child pornography.
In his agreement, Raley pleaded guilty to the distribution of child pornography, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. Raley also pleaded guilty to the possession of child pornography, which itself carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release and a $250,000 fine, according to federal law.
Kathleen L. Beggs, Raley’s defense attorney, was not immediately available for comment Tuesday.
Raley’s case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a department of justice program launched in 2006 to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse, Murphy said.
“All of these types of cases come under our Project Safe Childhood, and part of that project is we’re going after people who abuse children … child pornography is a form of child abuse; these are real children,” Murphy said.