A plea hearing is scheduled next week in federal district court in Washington for an Army Reserves paramedic charged with distributing child pornography.
Federal prosecutors initially filed a complaint (PDF) against Christopher Medovich in December 2010 in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. On March 31, an information was lodged against Medovich, whose arraignment and plea hearing is scheduled for April 20 before U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton.
Court papers reveal Medovich was caught in an undercover sting that played out over a couple of days in August, when Medovich was in Kuwait. Medovich, a member of an Army Reserves ambulance unit based in Richmond, spent most of last year overseas, according to court records.
During chats with an undercover officer, Medovich allegedly sent eight images of child pornography, prosecutors said. Medovich, 27, said in the chat, according to investigators, that he is sexually active with his 5-year-old daughter and that he drugs her while she is sleeping.
Several days after the Internet chats, investigators issued a subpoena to Yahoo! Inc. to acquire the subscriber information associated with Medovich’s e-mail address. Authorities determined, based on a review of Internet protocol addresses, that Medovich transmitted images of child pornography from Kuwait.
Last December, investigators said they issued an “emergency subpoena” to Yahoo! for additional account information and IP addresses related to Medovich’s e-mail address. The new data led the authorities to issue a subpoena to Comcast Corp. to obtain additional subscriber information.
Putting the case together, the authorities didn’t stop at the examination of electronic data. Investigators said they conducted physical surveillance in early December at Medovich’s home in Hancock, Md. A sign in the front yard said: “Welcome Home Chris.”
The Army, according to investigators, said the military unit to which Medovich was assigned had returned to the United States by December. A Facebook page, investigators said, confirmed the unit had, in fact, returned home.
Medovich has been detained since his arrest in December. A attorney for Medovich, Carlos Vanegas, an assistant federal public defender in Washington, was not immediately reached for comment this afternoon. The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the case.
In ordering Medovich detained pending trial, Magistrate Judge John Facciola called the weight of the evidence substantial.
“The facts of this case are horrifying,” Facciola said in a ruling (PDF) in December. “The defendant, believing that he was talking to someone as perverted as himself, explained how he drugged his own children to perform acts upon them that are unquestionably horrible crimes in themselves.”
Lawyers for Medovich said at a hearing last year that Medovich was fantasizing and that his children were not harmed, according to court records. Facciola remained unpersuaded.
“I do not understand why I am to take comfort in the fact that a father gratifies his sexual desires by imaging performing sexual acts on his children after he has drugged them,” Facciola said. “In either instance, he presents a most obvious and clear danger to all children.”