2021 | Courts

Gaithersburg man sentenced to 10 years in prison for child pornography possession

His sentence will be followed by 10 years of supervised release

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A Gaithersburg man was sentenced in U.S. District Court on Thursday to 10 years in federal prison for downloading, viewing and sharing child pornography.

Bruce Ralph Sturtz, now 75, downloaded and viewed more than 1,300 videos and 16 images of babies, toddlers and pre-teens in 2017, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A Maryland State Police investigator determined in February 2017 that Sturtz had downloaded and viewed a pornographic video of a pre-teen, and that he had software on his electronic device that allowed others to see it, according to the plea agreement. The next month, investigators found more images of pre-teens “engaged in sexually explicit conduct,” on the same device.

Authorities executed a search warrant of Sturtz’s home in October 2017 and seized multiple devices that belonged to him, according to the press release.

Sturtz was indicted by a grand jury in 2019, and pleaded guilty last year.

Sturtz also pleaded guilty in 2000 to a sex offense involving a minor and served 18 months in prison, according to the press release.

After Sturtz serves his current prison sentence, he will be under supervised release for 10 years, the release said. He must register as a sex offender anywhere he lives, works or is a student.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com