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BREAKING: Former swim club board president pleads guilty to sexually exploiting children

Mark Black (courtesy Alexandria Sheriff’s Office)

A former board president of the Arlington Aquatic Club pled guilty today to conspiring to sexually exploit several children.

Mark Black, 50, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to produce child pornography and one count of coercion and enticement one month before he was set to go to trial in federal court on Feb. 27, according to a press release from the U.S. Dept. of Justice.

He is set to be sentenced on April 30 and faces a mandatory minimum term of 15 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison.

From January 2018 to October 2021, Black was part of two groups that found prepubescent girls online and convinced them to livestream themselves engaging in sexually explicit conduct, the release says. Black and his co-conspirators would secretly record so they could share the videos with each other.

Last November, a grand jury returned an indictment charging Black with six counts of creating, advertising, distributing and receiving child pornography between 2018 and 2023.

Black was one board president of AAC, an elite swimming program notable for producing a Tokyo Olympian two summers ago, and also worked as a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) attorney.

More, below, from the Justice Department press release.

A Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) attorney pleaded guilty today to conspiring to sexually exploit numerous children.

According to court documents, between January 2018 and October 2021, Mark Black, 50, of Arlington, was a member of two online groups dedicated to exploiting children. The goal of the two groups was to locate prepubescent girls online and convince them to livestream themselves engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Black and his co-conspirators would covertly record this conduct and share the videos with each other.

In July 2019, Black induced a prepubescent minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct on a live-streaming application while screen-recording that activity. That same month, Black and a co-conspirator also groomed another prepubescent minor to engage in sexually explicit acts on a photo and video-sharing application. The co-conspirator surreptitiously hacked into this girl’s live-video feed and recorded the sexual acts before sending them to Black.

Black was formerly the Arlington Aquatic Club (AAC) board president.

Black pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to produce child pornography and one count of coercion and enticement. He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 30 and faces a mandatory minimum term of 15 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Nicole M. Argentieri, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Michael D. Nordwall, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division; and Shimon Richmond, Assistant Inspector General for Investigations of the FDIC Office of Inspector General (FDIC-OIG), made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema accepted the plea.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren Halper and Trial Attorneys McKenzie Hightower, Kaylynn Foulon, and James E. Burke IV of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section are prosecuting the case.

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 U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc. […]

Any individuals who believe they or someone they know may have been victimized by Black are encouraged to contact the FBI at 202-278-2000 and ask to speak to the Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force.

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