Annapolis, MD - Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Wes Adams announced today that Assistant State's Attorney Reva Chopra was recognized by the United States Attorney's Office for her contribution to child exploitation investigations in the District of Maryland, specifically for her work on State of Maryland v. Korey Payne.
"People frequently mistake the possession of child pronography to be a victimless crime," said Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Wes Adams. "Reva has done an outstanding job of giving voices to these victims and bringing to justice anyone who would exploit them."
Korey Vaugh Hamilton Payne, 21, of Hanover, was arrested in 2016 when an Anne Arundel County Police detective directed his attention to a specific IP address after establishing it was associated with at least one file known to be of interest to child pornography investigations.
After identifying the IP address as being assigned to the home of Korey Payne's mother, where Payne resided at the time, police obtained a search warrant for the address. Upon executing the warrant, police found external storage devices which contained child pornography next to Korey Payne's ID card and other possessions. Payne himself identified this area as his studio workspace.
Payne was found guilty of five counts of Possession of Child Pornography by an Anne Arundel County Circuit Court jury on May 4, 2017.
Cases such as this are frequently hindered by the misconception that possession of child pornography is a "victimless" crime. Ms. Chopra overcame this obstacle by contacting The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and successfully identifying the child victim pictured in one of the five images.
The victim was then able to provide an Impact Statement to the court detailing the lasting trauma associated with not only the initial abuse involved in creating the pornographic images, but also the knowledge that she is continually exploited by predators who come to possess these images.
On September 26, 2017, Payne was sentenced on to 25 years suspend all but 18 months of active incarceration, 5 years of supervised probation upon release, and is required to register as a sex offender for 15 years.
The award was presented to Ms. Chopra by United States Attorney Robert K. Hur at the annual Project Safe Childhood Seminar.