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Eldersburg man pleads guilty in federal court to taking sexually explicit photos of 6-year-old, receiving child porn

An Eldersburg man is expected to be sentenced to 15 years in federal prison after pleading guilty Thursday afternoon to federal charges of producing and receiving child pornography, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Maryland.

During a plea agreement hearing, the man — 56-year-old Shon Brian Beck — admitted to taking sexually explicit images of a 6-year-old girl during a 2001 family vacation to Delaware’s Bethany Beach, according to the release.

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Beck is scheduled to be sentenced on the afternoon of Jan. 28, the release reads. Under a plea agreement, if it is accepted in court, he will be sentenced to 15 years in federal prison.

According to the release, Beck and his family shared a condominium with two other families — including the family of the 6-year-old — during their 2001 vacation. During the vacation, Beck sneaked into the young girl’s room and used a digital camera to take 11 sexually explicit photos of her, the release reads.

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In 2018, according to the release, someone else reported that Beck had sexually assaulted her, which eventually led to law enforcement executing a search warrant at his home in March 2019. There, police seized Beck’s computer equipment and digital cameras, which were then forensically examined, according to the release.

According to the release, investigators found on these devices the pictures of the young girl, as well as more than 450 other images and videos documenting the sexual abuse of minors, including some who were prepubescent. Beck had downloaded many of these videos and images from the internet, according to the release.

According to court records, a conviction on either of the two charges would require Beck to forfeit any child pornography in his possession, any property that can be traced to profits or proceeds gleaned from the offenses, and any property used or intended to be used to commit or promote the commission of his offenses. This includes but is not limited to two computer towers, a compact flash card, flash drives, CDs and DVDs, and a HP 2000 Notebook, with a charger.

Beck’s case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a U.S. Department of Justice initiative launched in May 2006 to combat the “growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse,” the release states. This project assembles federal, state and local resources to find and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, as well as to identify and rescue victims, according to the release.

In the release, U.S. Attorney Robert Hur commended the FBI and Maryland Police State for their work in the investigation, and thanked the county State’s Attorney’s Office for its assistance. Paul Budlow, assistant U.S. attorney is prosecuting the federal case.

Joanna Silver, the assistant federal public defender representing Beck, declined to comment on his plea Thursday.

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