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Waldorf Air Force Lieutenant Facing Federal Charges For Using A Hidden Camera To Produce Child Pornography

GREENBELT, Md. – A federal criminal complaint has been filed charging U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Jason Daniel Ort, age 36, of Waldorf, Maryland, with possession and production of child pornography.  The criminal complaint was filed on June 16, 2021 and unsealed on July 7, 2021 after Ort’s arrest and initial appearance in U.S District Court in Greenbelt, Maryland.  Ort is detained pending trial.

The criminal complaint was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Acting Special Agent in Charge Rachel Byrd of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Brigadier General Terry Bullard, Commander Air Force Office of Special Investigations.
           
According to the criminal complaint, Ort was arrested in Syracuse, New York on October 2, 2020 for unlawful surveillance after an adult complainant informed law enforcement that they noticed a small camera placed in their bedroom on October 1, 2020. Upon further inspection, the complainant located an SD card which the complainant removed from the camera and reviewed.  The complainant advised law enforcement that there was video content on the SD card allegedly depicting a minor female victim between the ages of five and eight-years-old using the restroom and showing Ort entering the bathroom and adjusting the camera.

As detailed in the criminal complaint affidavit, on October 6, 2020 an Onondaga County Court Judge issued a warrant to search Ort’s personal laptop and SD card.  Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office detectives allegedly observed a video on the SD card that depicted a minor female victim between the ages of eight and ten years of age undressing and showering.  Additionally, a forensic review of Ort’s laptop allegedly revealed hundreds of images of minor females in various sexual poses, child sexual abuse material, and several videos of child pornography depicting prepubescent children.   A review of Ort’s SD card allegedly contained six videos of child pornography, including a ten-minute video that depicted two minor victims bathing in the shower with the assistance of an adult female.

On November 16, 2020, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office and OSI executed a search warrant at Ort’s Waldorf, Maryland residence.  During the execution of the search warrant, law enforcement allegedly recovered multiple devices including two external hard drives and a laptop.  A federal search warrant was subsequently executed on Ort’s seized devices.  The affidavit alleges that law enforcement recovered several videos of minor victims recorded on a hidden bathroom camera as well as a compilation video comprised of adult females using the restroom.  A review of the second external hard drive allegedly revealed key word searches of the terms related to child pornography. Lastly, investigators allegedly discovered a web history event for a website titled “Citizen’s Guide to U.S. Federal Law on Child Pornography”.

If convicted, Ort faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison and a maximum sentence of 30 years for production of child pornography as well as a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for possession of child pornography.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

A criminal complaint is not a finding of guilt.  An individual charged by criminal complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings. 

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.         

Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended the FBI and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Collins who is prosecuting the federal 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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