A Boyle County man has been found guilty on all six counts of an indictment charging various child exploitation offenses.
On Thursday, a federal jury in Lexington, Ky., convicted 54 year-old Mark Andrew Morris of two counts of producing child pornography, two counts of distributing child pornography, and one count each of receiving and possessing child pornography. The jury returned its verdicts after approximately 35 minutes of deliberation, following two days of trial.
According to evidence presented at trial, Morris used a hidden camera to record a minor female engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The evidence further revealed that Morris had downloaded numerous images of child pornography from the internet.
The investigation started when an investigator with the Kentucky Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit discovered images of child pornography being made available through a peer to peer (P2P) network on the internet. The investigator collected the child pornography images, obtained the subscriber information for the Internet Protocol (IP) address, and traced the source of the images to Morris’s computer. In June 2014, a search warrant was conducted at Morris’ residence and authorities found the child pornography images on his computer and other electronic media.
Kerry B. Harvey, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Howard Marshall, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Andy Beshear, Kentucky Attorney General, jointly made the announcement.
The case was investigated by the Office of the Kentucky Attorney General, Cyber Crimes Unit, and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Marye prosecuted the case on behalf of the federal government.
Morris is scheduled to be sentenced on August 29, 2016. Production of Child Pornography carries a minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years; receipt and distribution of child pornography carry a minimum of 5 years in prison and a maximum of 20 years; and possession of child pornography carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.