Baltimore, MD. – U.S. District Judge Stephanie A. Gallagher Friday sentenced Thomas Michael Mannion, Jr., age 46, of Parkville, Maryland, to 400-months in federal prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, for two counts of production of child pornography. Mannion previously admitted to engaging in sexually explicit conduct with two minor victims. Judge Gallagher also ordered that, upon his release from prison, Mannion must register as a sex offender in the places where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Special Agent in Charge John Eisert of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; Chief Melissa R. Hyatt of the Baltimore County Police Department; and Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger.
“Thomas Mannion is a predator and our children and communities are safer because he will now serve more than 33 years in federal prison,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “We are grateful for the collaboration of our law enforcement partners to remove this sexual predator from the community so he can no longer victimize our children.”
“When the most vulnerable of our citizens – our children – are victimized we will do everything in our power to protect them and get predators such as this off the street,” said Jennifer C. Boone, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Baltimore Field Office. “This case started with one person who was concerned with what they witnessed. Their willingness to step forward was critical to our ability to protect additional children from this predator. I would ask anyone with such information in the future to contact the nearest FBI office or submit tips online at https://tips.fbi.gov. ”
“Mannion preyed upon and exploited children, documenting his crimes to contribute to the horrific child exploitation material industry,” said John Eisert, Special Agent in Charge for Homeland Security Investigations’ Baltimore field office. “Homeland Security Investigations, along with our federal and local law enforcement partners, is committed to investigating and seeking prosecution of predators in our community.”
According to his guilty plea, Mannion, who was a Baltimore County Correctional Officer at the time, rented the basement apartment of a townhome in Parkville, Maryland, where he lived alone. On May 6, 2019, Baltimore County Police were called to a residence after a neighbor had seen Mannion in bed naked with Minor Victim 1, who was also unclothed. When police arrived, they located the minor victim, who was 13 years old at the time, in the basement bedroom area. Investigation revealed that Mannion had met the victim a few months before on a social networking application. Mannion had initially met Minor Victim 1 on March 9, 2019, and brought him to his apartment, where they engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Mannion took photos and videos of Minor Victim 1 during the sexual encounter. Mannion admitted that on March 12, 2019 and March 17, 2019, as well as on additional occasions, he distributed the sexually explicit images of Minor Victim 1 to others. Mannion took additional sexually explicit photographs of Minor Victim 1 on May 6, 2019. A forensic analysis of Mannion’s cellphone revealed 21 images and two videos depicting Minor Victim 1 engaged in sexually explicit activity on March 9, 2019, and an additional eight images of Minor Victim 1 documenting the sexual activity on May 6, 2019.
As detailed in the plea agreement, Mannion also communicated with Minor Victim 2, a 14-year-old male, through the social networking application. Mannion admitted that on April 17, 2019, Mannion went to the home of Minor Victim 2, where he engaged in sexual activity with the victim and took photographs and videos documenting the sexual contact. Mannion distributed the child pornography images of Minor Victim 2 to multiple other users of the social networking application. The forensic analysis of Mannion’s cellphone recovered 18 images and two videos documenting the sexual activity with Minor Victim 2.
According to the plea agreement, Mannion attempted to meet with several other minors with whom he communicated on the social networking application, even after the minors advised Mannion of their ages. Mannion also discussed his sexual interest in other children that he knew or had contact with during sexually explicit chats with users of the application. In addition, a review of Mannion’s laptop computer revealed multiple images of child pornography.
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 the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the FBI, HSI, the Baltimore County Police Department, and the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary W. Setzer, who prosecuted the federal case.