Registered Sex Offender Sentenced to 45 Years in Federal Prison for the Sexual Exploitation of Two Minor Girls to Produce Child Pornography | USAO-MD

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Baltimore, Maryland – Chief U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar today sentenced Dennis James Harrison, age 40, of Rocky Ridge, Maryland, to 45 years in federal prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, for the sexual exploitation of children to produce child pornography, related to the sexual exploitation of two minors who were between the ages of 10 and 12 at the time of the abuse.  Chief Judge Bredar also ordered that, upon his release from prison, defendant Harrison must continue to register as a sex offender in the places where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (“SORNA”). 

Harrison also had a conviction from August 12, 2009, in the Court of Common Pleas of Adams County, Pennsylvania, for possession of child pornography and was a registered sex offender at the time of his arrest in this federal case.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge James C. Harris of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; Frederick County Sheriff Charles A. “Chuck” Jenkins; and Frederick County State’s Attorney J. Charles Smith III.

According to his guilty plea, between 2018 and 2021, Harrison sexually exploited two minor girls beginning when the one victim was twelve years old and when the other victim was 10 to 11 years old, to produce child pornography.  Specifically, from at least September 2020 through August 2021, Harrison engaged in sexual activity with Jane Doe 1, a 12-year-old girl who resided in Pennsylvania.  Harrison picked-up Jane Doe 1 from her residence and drove her to various locations in Maryland, including Harrison’s residence, where he engaged in illegal sexual activity with Jane Doe 1.  The defendant produced images and videos of his sexual abuse of Jane Doe 1 and enticed Jane Doe 1 to send him sexually explicit photographs of herself.

As detailed in his plea agreement, Harrison also used a hidden camera and a mobile phone in 2018 to produce a series of images depicting Jane Doe 2, a 10-to-11-year-old girl, nude and partially nude in a bedroom and bathroom in Pennsylvania and in a bathroom in Maryland.  The images were taken without the knowledge of Jane Doe 2. 

On August 12, 2021, investigators executed a search warrant at Harrison’s residence and recovered a cellphone used by Harrison to film his sexual abuse of Jane Doe 1, as well as several digital devices.  A forensic examination of all the devices located files depicting the sexual abuse of children on each one, including depictions of infants and toddlers.  In total, over 14,000 files of child pornography were found on Harrison’s devices. 

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices 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 children, and to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.  For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the “Resources” tab on the left of the page.

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended HSI, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, and the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office their work in the investigation and prosecution.  Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul E. Budlow and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Joyce King, who prosecuted the case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md/project-safe-childhood and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.

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