Md. man posed as female modeling agent to get girls’ private photos

WASHINGTON — A Maryland man posing as a modeling agent tricked girls into sending naked photos using a messaging app. He entered a guilty plea to charges of soliciting and possessing child pornography, prosecutors said.

Stephen McGrath, 44, of Rockville, faces up to 10 years in prison after he entered a guilty plea on multiple charges related to child pornography, federal prosecutors said.

Posing as a female modeling agent, McGrath said he communicated with six girls between the ages of 12 and 16 using the messaging apps MeetMe and Kik between June 16, 2017 and Oct. 9, 2017, according to the U.S. attorney’s office for the district of Maryland.

Investigators found that the information for the account used to communicate with the first victim showed the same user connected to each account through McGrath’s IP address.

During a search warrant in October 2017, investigators found 600 images on McGrath’s phone, including nude and sexually explicit images of the six victims. McGrath volunteered the passcode to his phone. He also admitted he shared images of one of the girls with two of her male friends.

McGrath will be sentenced in late March. As a result of his guilty plea, McGrath will be required to register as a sex offender in the places where he resides, where he is an employee and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

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