Patrick Moran, a former Baltimore prosecutor, received a one-year jail sentence last week for distributing child pornography. He worked at the state’s attorney’s office from 2003 until October 2016, when he was indicted.
Baltimore County Circuit Judge Nancy M. Purpura sentenced Moran, who had previously pled guilty to a single count of possession with intent to distribute child pornography.
In a Towson courtroom, Moran held his head low and spoke to everyone in attendance saying, “I just want to take fully responsibility.”
He went on to apologize to his former colleagues at the state’s attorney’s office and his family for his actions.
During the sentencing phase, prosecutor Perry Wasserman argued Moran should receive an 18-month sentence. If the county had referred Moran’s case to the federal courts, he would have faced a minimum of five years in prison.
“The defendant has received substantial consideration,” Wasserman told Purpura.
Wasserman said, “The images were particularly vulgar” and depicted children between the ages of 3 and 16 years, whom were involved in sex acts. He requested the judge to take those images into consideration.
The investigation in Moran stemmed from a tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which involved an image that had been uploaded to Catstep, a secure chat program. The image had been uploaded from Moran’s IP address in Nottingham, according to the indictment.
Moran’s storage devices and computers had been seized from his home. He voluntarily handed over a storage device that contained innumerable images of young children having sex.
“These are real children … that were having real things done to them. We don’t get to know what their life is going to be like because they were subjected to this” and could not defend themselves in court, Wasserman added.
Moran’s wife, family members and two attorneys spoke on his behalf, describing him as a loving family man and fair attorney.
His wife, Amy Moran, denied knowing anything about her husband’s illegal action until he was arrested.
“To say that I was shocked is a complete understatement,” she said.
She said he was a good father and good husband, reading to their three children nightly.
“We intend to stand with him through this whole process,” she said.
According to Moran’s attorney, Andrew I. Alperstein, Moran lost a $94,000-a-year job, reputation and his career as an attorney due to his actions.
Moran is required to turn himself in at the county detention center jail on June 14, so he can start serving his sentence.