AIR FORCE OFFICER INDICTED FOR SEXUALLY EXPLOITING TODDLERS AND CHILDREN TO PRODUCE CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
A federal grand jury indicted William S. Gazafi, age 44, of Lusby, Maryland, yesterday on six counts of sexually exploiting a minor to produce child pornography.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Brigadier General Kevin J. Jacobsen, Commander Air Force Office of Special Investigations.
According to the indictment and criminal complaint, on August 15, 2013, Gazafi engaged in a chat on a website dedicated to incest discussions with an undercover officer. During the chat, Gazafi discussed his sexual interest in children and advised that he had been drugging and molesting several children, including an infant. During the chat, Gazafi allegedly sent seven images to the undercover officer, three of which were child pornography he claimed he created. The FBI identified Gazafi and he was arrested carrying multiple digital media items. A forensic examination of those items revealed videos and images that Gazafi produced of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. These images and videos included one child as young as five months old. The images also depict children bound and handcuffed while sleeping. Gazafi is a non-commissioned U.S. Air Force officer working at Andrews Air Force Base.
Gazafi faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years in prison followed by up to lifetime of supervised release. Gafazi was arrested on the criminal complaint on September 3, 2013 and remains detained. Gazafi is expected to have his initial appearance on the indictment in federal court in Greenbelt early next week.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
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 Attorneys’ 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 <http://www.justice.gov/psc> . For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc <http://www.justice.gov/psc> and click on the “resources” tab on the left of the page.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI and Air Force Office of Special Investigations for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Special Assistant U.S. Attorney LisaMarie Freitas of the U.S. Justice Department, Criminal Division, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Sullivan, who are prosecuting the case.