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Judge Sentences Liptak to 33 Months

A federal judge sentenced former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms employee Daniel Liptak to 33 months in prison Wednesday, several months after he pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography.

Additionally, Liptak, who worked as a computer technician in the Sergeant-at-Arms office until 2001, will be subject to three years of supervised release after his prison term ends.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan — who delayed sentencing Liptak at a March hearing in order to consider input from victims’ fiduciaries or related organizations — said that as a condition of his release from prison, Liptak will be required to register as a sexual offender and also provide a DNA sample to law enforcement authorities.

In addition, Liptak will be required to submit to periodic searches of his computer for illegal materials, and he must receive written approval from a probation officer before using the Internet or online computer services.

“You have to be careful what you write or transfer on a computer,” Sullivan advised.

In his ruling, Sullivan accepted the recommendations of government prosecutors, who requested that the defendant be incarcerated for 33 to 41 months, as federal sentencing guidelines recommend.

Liptak, formerly of Roanoke, Va., pleaded guilty in October to one count of possessing 10 or more images of child pornography.

According to 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 at 2 Massachusetts Ave. NE.

In May 2001, other employees in the office discovered Liptak’s activities when he accidentally sent a photograph of a naked girl to a communal printer.

Although Liptak requested his co-workers not mention the incident to anyone, the employees reported his activities, and supervisors placed Liptak on administrative leave.

Senate officials then contacted the FBI, which conducted an examination of Liptak’s desktop computer and a Senate-owned laptop computer he used, and found Liptak had viewed pornographic Web sites and stored images from those sites on both computers.

He had also sent e-mail to pornographic Web sites using his Senate e-mail address.

He has spent the past year in the District of Columbia’s Correctional Treatment Facility, and he will be allowed to apply the time he has already served toward his sentence.

Sullivan said he will recommend, however, that Liptak complete his term in the Federal Correction Institute in Butner, N.C., a prison hospital. The judge also directed Liptak to seek an alcohol treatment program.

In response to an inquiry from Sullivan about his plans for the future, Liptak stated that he will continue to write short stories, a project he began after being incarcerated last year.

“It’s always important … to figure out how that time can serve you,” Sullivan advised.

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