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Published:October 11th, 2007 05:26 EST
Child Porn, Macomb County man pleads guilty to manufacturing, distributing

Child Porn, Macomb County man pleads guilty to manufacturing, distributing

By SOP newswire

DETROIT - A Macomb County man pleaded guilty here Wednesday to manufacturing and distributing child pornography. This guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Murphy, Eastern District of Michigan; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigated the case.

Leo Joseph Rudolph, 44, of Ray Township, Mich., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge David M. Lawson to one-count each of manufacturing, receiving, transporting and possessing child pornography.

The ICE investigation began in January 2007 by agents in Portland, Ore., after they received information regarding a girl whose image was being distributed on internet sites. On June 15, ICE agents in Detroit executed a federal search warrant at Rudolph's residence and seized a laptop computer, digital camera, and several other pieces of digital media. A computer forensic analysis of the seized items discovered more than 600 digital images of children engaging in explicit sexual conduct. Rudolph was arrested at Detroit Metropolitan Airport later the same day as he was returning on a flight from Orlando, Fla.

According to court documents, from January to May 2007, Rudolph used, enticed, and coerced the 9-year-old daughter of his then girlfriend to engage in sex acts with him, which he photographed and/or videotaped. He later distributed some of these images on the internet.

"All children have an absolute right to grow up free from the fear of being sexually exploited," said Brian M. Moskowitz, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Detroit. "And children should never have to fear those who are supposed to protect them. ICE will relentlessly pursue anyone who physically abuses or sexually exploits our kids."

This investigation is part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 10,000 individuals, including more than 250 in Michigan.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE. Investigators staff this hotline around the clock.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.

Rudolph faces a minimum of 15 years to a maximum of 30 years in prison. He remains in custody awaiting a sentencing scheduled for Jan. 28.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John O'Brien and Jeanine Jones, Eastern District of Michigan.

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