Md. Air Force lieutenant sentenced to 11 yrs in prison for child pornography charges

Editor’s Note: This article contains discussions of child pornography. The National Sexual Assault Hotline is 1-800-656-4673. 

A U.S. Air Force officer from Waldorf, Maryland, will be serving time in federal prison after pleading guilty to recording and producing child pornography, including videos taken with hidden cameras in multiple homes.

The defendant, 36-year-old 1st Lt. Jason Ort, was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison and 15 years of supervised release on Thursday, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Ort will also be required to register as a sex offender where he lives, works and any schools that he attends after he’s released from prison.

The sentence was delivered by U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang after Ort pled guilty to transporting videos with child pornography from Maryland to New York between Sept. 28 and Oct. 1, 2020.

In addition to video files found on SD cards of hidden cameras, officials say that Ort’s laptop and other devices contained hundreds of files of child pornography files.

The videos captured by Ort show underage girls in the bathroom and shower. He also had files showing sex acts involving prepubescent minors. The exact ages of victims in the recordings were not provided by authorities.

The case against Ort began on Oct. 2, 2020, when the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) in upstate New York received a complaint from an individual that Ort had put a black spy camera in their home during his visit on Oct. 1.

According to military records, Ort was on leave from his service as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force stationed in Maryland during the period he had visited New York.

When the individual had reviewed footage from the camera, they found video of a young girl using the bathroom and lifting up her dress to wipe herself. The witness said, in that recording, Ort had entered their bathroom to adjust the camera.

When detectives from OCSO seized Ort’s SD card and laptop, they found at least 10 video files with underage girls using the bathroom and bathing. Those videos were captured in a Maryland home around December 2019 and January 2020.

According to police reports, the camera seemed to be placed under the sink to face the toilet and shower. Four victims were recorded while their genitals were exposed.

In his interview with OCSO officers, Ort said he had also put cameras in that person’s bedroom. In addition, he admitted placing hidden cameras in other locations, including a bathroom at another home in Pocomoke City, Maryland.

On Nov. 16, 2020, when federal law enforcement executed a search warrant at Ort’s Waldorf, Md., residence, investigators discovered that two of Ort’s hard drives contained duplicates of the videos found on the SD cards; this evidence led to a production of child pornography charge by federal prosecutors.

Ort said he watched the videos for sexual pleasure and knew that his actions were wrong.

U.S. Attorney Erek Barron thanked the FBI and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations for their work on the investigation, as well as the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office.

Jessica Kronzer

Jessica Kronzer graduated from James Madison University in May 2021 after studying media and politics. She enjoys covering politics, advocacy and compelling human-interest stories.

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