Smyrna resident Stephen W. Carman, 54, pled guilty in Kent County Superior Court Oct. 18 to nine counts of dealing in child pornography, and was sentenced to 18 years in prison followed by probation.
A Smyrna resident charged with child pornography offenses following an investigation initiated by the Delaware Child Predator Task Force pled guilty Oct. 18 in Kent County Superior Court.
Stephen W. Carman, 54, a registered sex offender, pled guilty to nine counts of dealing in child pornography and was immediately sentenced to 18 minimum mandatory years in prison by Superior Court Judge Robert B. Young, followed six months of either home confinement or work release, followed by 18 years of probation.
“I am proud of the work that our Child Predator Task Force is doing every day to protect our kids and our families,” said State Attorne General Beau Biden. “Our streets are safer because this child predator is serving a substantial minimum mandatory prison sentence.”
Carman’s arrest on July 28 followed a Task Force investigation into the possession of child sexual exploitation images on the Internet. Task Force member agencies, including the Delaware Department of Justice, Delaware State Police, and Smyrna Police Department, and agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement executed a search warrant at Carman’s Smyrna residence on Smyrna Clayton Boulevard, and seized computers and other digital evidence, as well as fireworks and a small amount of marijuana. An initial forensic analysis revealed multiple images of child pornography, including images of young children being sexually assaulted by adult males. As a result, Carman was arrested by Smyrna Police and was charged with multiple counts of dealing in child pornography.
While Carman was being processed at Smyrna Police headquarters he made a phone call that led the Task Force to believe that additional evidence was hidden at his residence. The Child Predator Task Force executed an additional search warrant at Carman’s residence, seizing additional digital media, including a flash drive secured by duct tape underneath the kitchen sink. That evidence revealed thousands of images of child pornography, including images and videos of young females being sexually assaulted by adult males. As a result, Carman was re-arrested July 29 and charged with additional counts of dealing in child pornography, as well as attempting to destroy physical evidence and criminal solicitation.
In 2008, the Attorney General’s office drafted legislation that imposed harsher consequences for the possession and distribution of child pornography. House Bill 421, which was enacted that same year, established mandatory minimum prison sentences for distributing child pornography.