BALTIMORE — U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz sentenced Scott Zalewski, 31, of Federalsburg, to 40 years in federal prison followed by lifetime supervised release after Zalewski pleaded guilty to two counts of producing child pornography.
Motz ordered that upon his release from prison, Zalewski must register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.
Zalewski, of 2731 Owens Drive, was arrested Jan. 2, 2013, following a joint investigation between the criminal investigation division of the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office, the Caroline County Department of Social Services and the Caroline County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Police said the sheriff’s office received a tip Jan. 2, 2013, and the ensuing investigation revealed Zalewski allegedly molested a minor, took sexually explicit photographs of the minor and then distributed those photos over the Internet.
Police said the crimes allegedly took place over a period of time between 2011 and the present.
According to the plea agreement, on Jan. 2, 2013, Zalewski’s live-in girlfriend provided police with photographs that contained sexually explicit images of the child, which she reported finding in Zalewski’s email account.
Police said a search warrant subsequently executed on Zalewski’s email account recovered digital copies of the sexually explicit pictures of the child being sent to another individual. More than a dozen other emails also were seized, dating from July and August 2011, in which Zalewski was trading sexually explicit images of other children with other individuals, police said.
According to investigators, a hard drive recovered from Zalewski’s house, and a laptop Zalewski’s ex-girlfriend previously turned over to police also were searched pursuant to a federal warrant. Investigators said the hard drive contained 45 images of child pornography, dating from about April 2008. On the laptop were records of chats in which the defendant discussed and exchanged child pornography with others, dating from about December 2006 through October 2007, police said.
Police said text messages recovered from Zalewski’s cellphone showed discussion of child pornography with others on Dec. 31, 2012, and Jan. 1, 2013. Some text messages had image attachments, but the images were deleted and could not be recovered, police said.
Zalewski was sentenced in October 2013 to 40 years in prison after he pleaded guilty in Caroline County Circuit Court to second-degree rape and second-degree sex offense in connection with the case. Zalewski’s state and federal sentences will be served concurrently.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, Caroline County Sheriff’s Office, and Caroline County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation and prosecution. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Herring, who prosecuted the case.