DENVER – The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announces that Steven Patrick McConnell, age 32, from Lochbuie, Colorado, was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison, followed by 25 years on supervised release, for production of child pornography.
According to facts contained in the plea agreement, in December 2021, the defendant was using an online platform to chat with an individual who, unknown to the defendant, was an undercover agent with the FBI. The defendant informed the undercover agent that he had access to a six-year-old minor child and that he regularly sexually assaulted the minor. He then sent the undercover agent a photo of the minor child. In a series of chat exchanges, the defendant then indicated that he planned to assault the minor child again, possibly as soon as that evening. The FBI obtained the IP address associated with the defendant, responded to the defendant’s residence with local law enforcement, obtained a warrant, and searched the defendant’s bedroom. Subsequently, the defendant admitted that he had engaged in sexual abuse of the minor child and made pornographic images of the minor. Devices recovered from the defendant’s bedroom were later analyzed and found to contain child pornography produced by the defendant, as well as evidence that the defendant distributed these images to other persons online.
“The horrific abuse sustained by the victim in this case can never be undone – that harm is forever,” said United States Attorney Cole Finegan. “Thanks to the quick action by the FBI, this predator was stopped and will be off the street for decades to come.”
“This heinous predator repeatedly victimized a trusting child because his access to the child was undetected. Law enforcement intervention stopped the egregious crimes, but the child will live with the experience for the rest of his life,” said Special Agent in Charge Mark Michalek. “The FBI Denver Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force is relentless in its work of protecting vulnerable children and holding their abusers accountable.”
United States District Court Judge William J. Martinez presided over the sentencing on May 31, 2023.
The FBI investigated this case, with assistance from the Lochbuie Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Melissa Hindman handled the prosecution.
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. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the “Resources” tab on the left of the page.
Case number 22-cr-23