A federal grand jury in Baltimore returned an indictment today charging a Maryland man with sexual exploitation of children and distribution, receipt, and possession of images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of children.

According to court documents, between 2013 and 2019, Paul Francis Blaisse, 63, of Walkersville, allegedly used internet chat applications to engage in sexually explicit video chats with minor children in southeast Asia. In 2013, Blaisse allegedly recorded a video chat with a prepubescent child engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Throughout 2019, Blaisse allegedly used Skype to communicate with multiple individuals located in southeast Asia who sent him images depicting the sexual abuse of prepubescent children. Blaisse also allegedly distributed child sexual abuse material (CSAM).

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Blaisse came to the attention of law enforcement after Skype notified the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that Blaisse had uploaded CSAM to his Skype account. The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office obtained a warrant to search Blaisse’s residence and, during their search, discovered multiple digital devices belonging to Blaisse that contained CSAM.

Blaisse is charged with two counts of sexual exploitation of children, five counts of distribution of child pornography, three counts of receipt of child pornography, and three counts of possession of child pornography. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Erek L. Barron for the District of Maryland, Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, and Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the FBI Baltimore Field Office made the announcement.

The FBI and the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the case.

Trial Attorney Eduardo Palomo of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Aubin for the District of Maryland are prosecuting the case.