Ex-SSA Employee Guilty on Porn Charges

Posted October 27, 2004 at 6:34pm

A former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms employee who pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography in federal court last week could face up to five years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan is scheduled to sentence Daniel Liptak, 43, in late January on one count of possessing 10 or more images of child pornography.

Liptak, who worked as a computer technician in the Sergeant-at-Arms office until 2001, also could receive a fine of up to $250,000.

An attorney representing Liptak did not return a call Wednesday seeking comment.

According to a recently issued statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Liptak downloaded photographs from pornographic Web sites to a pair of government computers while working in the SAA offices in the Postal Square Building on Massachusetts Avenue Northeast.

Other employees in the office discovered Liptak’s activities on May 7, 2001, when he accidentally sent a photograph of a naked girl to a printer shared by several workers.

“Before Liptak could retrieve the photograph from the printer, another employee picked up the photograph and looked at it,” the statement notes.

While that employee and a second employee examined the photograph, Liptak approached the printer but left once realizing it was empty.

After the employees replaced the photograph on the printer, they watched Liptak return and retrieve the printout.

“Realizing that he had been observed, Liptak approached the first employee and admitted that the photograph belonged to him,” the statement reads. “However, Liptak asked the employee not to mention the incident to anyone else.”

The employees, however, ignored Liptak’s request and reported the incident to office supervisors, who placed Liptak on administrative leave on May 9, 2001.

Senate officials contacted the FBI, which conducted an examination of Liptak’s desktop computer, as well as a Senate-owned laptop computer he used.

The investigation found that during his tenure in the office, Liptak — who suffered “emotional problems” for 13 years, according to court records — had viewed pornographic Web sites and stored images from those sites on both computers. In addition, the investigation showed Liptak had sent e-mail to pornographic Web sites using his Senate e-mail address.

At the time of his arrest in March 2004, court records show that Liptak, a Roanoke, Va., resident, was serving probation on several charges including drunken driving and marijuana possession.