S.C. man who called sex with children ‘play time’ pleads guilty to pornography production

Posted May 31, 2013, at 10:26 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — A South Carolina man who called his sexual abuse of children “play time” pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to child pornography charges, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Daniel Cobb, 38, of Rock Hill, S.C., took photos of himself engaged in sexual activity with two girls, ages 8 and 6, in 2012 and shared them with a Maine man, according to the prosecution version of events to which both men pleaded guilty.

Cobb pleaded guilty to two counts of production of pornography.

A sentencing date has not been set. Cobb has been held without bail since his November arrest in South Carolina, according to court documents. He will continue to be held without bail.

Information about whether Cobb has been charged in state court in his home state was not available Friday.

By pleading guilty, Cobb admitted that he traded child pornography with David Muise, 26, of Portland, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Muise was arrested Oct. 12 at his home, which he shared with his daughter and son, both under the age of 5.

Muise was sentenced earlier this month to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of a child.

The men came to the attention of investigators in September after the Portland man sent a photo of his genitalia over a clothed child sleeping on her stomach to a Canadian girlfriend in Langley, British Columbia. The woman contacted the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who alerted American authorities.

An examination of Muise’s computer indicated that he and Cobb made “extensive sexual comments about each other’s daughters” in online chats. The two fathers appeared “to be sharing sexually explicit photos and videos of the victims and also [to be] actively molesting them for each other via Web cameras,” states the affidavit filed in support of a warrant to arrest Cobb.

In an interview with investigators after his arrest, Cobb admitted that he had engaged in sexually explicit activity with the victims and that he had taken digital photographs and video footage of the activity, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Thursday in a press release. He described his sexual acts with the victims as “play time.”

Cobb faces a sentence of between 15 and 30 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000. He will be required to register as a sex offender for life.

The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

To reach a sexual assault advocate, call the Statewide Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Line at 800-871-7741, TTY 888-458-5599. This free and confidential 24-hour service is accessible from anywhere in Maine. Calls are automatically routed to the closest sexual violence service provider.

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