An Air Force colonel pled guilty today to receiving child pornography.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger for the Eastern District of Virginia, Special Agent In Charge Marc Meyer of the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Inspector General and Special Agent in Charge Raymond Villanueva of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C. made the announcement.
According to admissions made in connection with his plea agreement, between November 2015 and June 2016, Mark Visconi, 48, of Fairfax, Virginia, received and attempted to receive child pornography using the Internet. Visconi used an online bulletin board dedicated to the sharing of child pornography that operated on the anonymous TOR network to download child pornography. A forensic review of his laptop showed that Visconi downloaded and viewed numerous child pornography images and videos.
Separately, the plea documents also note that Visconi used his cell phone to create hundreds of pictures focused on the clothed buttocks of minor girls. In a smaller subset of these pictures, Visconi appeared to take “upskirting” images of some of the girls. It does not appear that any of the girls were aware that pictures were being taken.
U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III for the Eastern District of Virginia scheduled the sentencing for Jan. 31, 2020.
The case was investigated by HSI. Trial Attorney Gwendelynn Bills of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Whitney Russell of the Eastern District of Virginia are prosecuting the case.
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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.