COLLEGE PARK, Md. – A former mayor of College Park, Maryland, has been sentenced to three decades in prison for charges associated with possessing and distributing child sexual abuse images. Patrick Wojahn, 47, pleaded guilty to a total of 140 counts related to possessing and distributing images and videos containing child sex abuse material. The plea deal called for a sentence of 150 years with 120 years suspended, meaning he will serve 30 years in prison. Under Maryland law, he will be eligible for parole after serving 7.5 years of his sentence.
During the hearing, one victim spoke on video and the assistant state attorney in Prince George’s County read off statements from victims and their parents that detailed the abuse seen in the photos and videos. Among the stories recounted in graphic detail was one from a victim who took his own life following the online abuse. The assistant state attorney also disclosed that more than 500 victims were found on Wojahn’s phone, and 40 of those victims were presented in court on Monday.
The former mayor was first elected in 2015 and resigned in March of this year shortly before his arrest. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children tipped off Prince George’s County police in February that someone in the county was distributing child sexual abuse materials, leading to the investigation of Wojahn. Officials found over 1,500 pictures and videos on his devices, as well as evidence of him sharing around 200 of those files on social media. The case has been described by State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy as unprecedented in the county, involving a former elected official accused of such crimes.
Wojahn’s sentencing is a clear message that the justice system takes child pornography seriously and aims to address the pain and tragedy behind these heinous acts. With more than 500 victims impacted by Wojahn’s actions, the severity of the case highlights the long-lasting and devastating effects of child sexual abuse material being circulated online. The investigation and prosecution of this case serve as a reminder of the need for continued vigilance in combating the distribution and possession of such material.
In the end, Wojahn’s guilty plea and the subsequent sentencing reflect the commitment of law enforcement and prosecutors to holding individuals accountable for their role in perpetuating the exploitation and suffering of innocent victims.