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Posted at 5:36 PM ET, 12/21/2010

Ex-Arundel officer sentenced for porn

By Maria Glod

A former Anne Arundel County police lieutenant who had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison, federal authorities said.

James Cifala, 47, of Edgewater, Md., was convicted of receiving child pornography. According to court papers, Cifala asked the girl to send him sexually explicit photos, and she complied.

According to court papers, Cifala and the girl met in 2007 and began exchanging text messages in 2009. He spoke to her about having sex, but told her they had to wait until she was 16-years-old. He also told the girl she had to earn his trust because he was concerned she would tell others about the relationship.

In 2009, when the girl was 16-years-old and Cifala was 46-years-old, the two had sex several times in his truck and a vacant house, according to a plea agreement in the case.

U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said he hoped the case would "send a wake up call to parents about the need to monitor their children's use of cellular telephones and other communication devices."

Cifala had been with the Anne Arundel Police Department for 27 years prior to his arrest

By Maria Glod  | December 21, 2010; 5:36 PM ET
Categories:  From the Courthouse, Maria Glod  
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So, it's legal to have sex with a 16-year-old, but not legal to have a nude picture of her (or him)?

Posted by: AJJJ | December 22, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Why wasn't he charged and tried for statutory rape as well?

Posted by: johnfchick1 | December 22, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

johnfchick1: Because in some states, 16 is the legal age. I'm not sure what MD's law says, but it might be okay. Still, it does seem a bit odd that the cell phone pics would be illegal and the sex not. And it sounds like the girl was willing, so I don't really see an issue here. If the cop was soliciting other young girls, then there might have been a problem.

Posted by: akchild | December 22, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Shameful- gives good cops a bad name!

Posted by: 10bestfan | December 22, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

The problem is he used his knowledge of the law and probably his position as an adult authority figure to take advantage of a young girl at the earliest possible legal age. I imagine prosecutors wanted to get him for something and the child porn charge was the only option. Glad they caught him; he's a predator.

Posted by: mercredi | December 22, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

And we the public are supposed to trust the police and Catholic priets? Damn!

Posted by: HotelGuest | December 22, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse


Technically, making pornography is a federal crime:

Maryland also has obscenity laws.

Not that I'm defending this guy, but prosecutors increasingly abuse the law this way. If they don't like you, they can bury you in charges. You either make a deal, or bankrupt yourself trying to defend against all the charges and risk going to jail for even longer.

Posted by: pmendez | December 22, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Hotel cleaning crews find all sorts of stuff everyday. The internet makes it easy for hotel guests to act shamefully too.

Posted by: pejochum | December 22, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

a nude 16 yr old isnt child porn, it's underaged porn. a 16 yr old can have the body of an adult. it is normal to find a fully developed 16 yr old sexually attractive. just check out how many cds brittney spears sold when she was 16.
of course, it is wrong for an adult to use a teen for sex. but it is abnormal to find a child (under 13) sexually attractive.
there should be a different standard between underaged porn (13- 17) and child porn (under 13).
the officer should be punished for having sex with the girl, but the exchange of cell phone images should of been the lesser offense.

Posted by: MarilynManson | December 22, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

It does fail to state whether the girl was tried for making child porn in the juvenile justice system. Or, since boys as young as 12 have been condemned to death in the electric chair, if she was found competent to stand trial as an adult.

She was the person who made the picture and sent it to the defendant, and the man just got a five year prison term. How can anyone say she did no wrong?

Maybe you believe she had no concept of how bad her conduct was, but that determination should be made after she is charged.

Posted by: blasmaic | December 22, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

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