Baltimore, MD — As TFTP reports on a regular basis, police officers, as well as child predators in the civilian world, often escape accountability despite horrifying crimes against children. A former officer from Baltimore was about to be one of these statistics last October after the prosecutors declined to prosecute him for the rape of a 13-year-old girl. The ex-cop's desire to prey on children was so strong, however that he would be caught multiple times and receive a massive sentence as a result.
Former Baltimore County corrections officer, Thomas Michael Mannion Jr., 46, was handed down a massive 400 month sentence in federal prison after being caught in the rape of at least two children and the production of child pornography.
As the Baltimore Sun reported, Mannion was originally charged with raping a 13-year-old in May 2019, but circuit court prosecutors declined to prosecute him on rape charges less than two weeks after the federal child porn indictment was filed in October 2019, court records show.
“Thomas Mannion is a predator and our children and communities are safer because he will now serve more than 33 years in federal prison,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur in a news release. “We are grateful for the collaboration of our law enforcement partners to remove this sexual predator from the community so he can no longer victimize our children.”
Last year, Mannion, who rented an apartment in Baltimore, was seen by his neighbor luring a 13-year-old girl into his home. On May 6, 2019, Mannion was arrested after his neighbor reported to police that they saw him in bed with the naked 13-year-old.
Upon investigation, police found that Mannion had groomed the girl from a conversation on Grindr, a dating app targeted at members of the LGBTQ community. When they searched his phone and computer, police found a trove of illicit video and images of the child. They also found images of a 14-year-old boy who Mannion later admitted to luring through Grindr as well.
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As the Sun points out, in a plea agreement, Mannion said he met with several other minors who he found on the same dating even after the minors told him their age. Mannion discussed his sexual interest in children that he knew or had contact with while talking with users of the application.
According to the Justice Department, Mannion's 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.
The 400-month or 33-year sentence is certainly encouraging considering the sheer number of police officers and other child predators who commit unspeakable crimes against children only to receive wrist slaps in return.
In fact, earlier this month, TFTP reported on the case of former Honolulu police officer Kramer Aoki who was sentenced for his crimes against a 17-year-old girl. During a traffic stop, Aoki abused his power and sexually assaulted the teenage girl in his custody.
For sexually assaulting an underage girl while on duty, Aoki faced a maximum sentence of five years. While five years is still fairly low for his crimes, what he actually received was disgusting. Aoki will serve just 14 days in jail, will not have to register as a sex offender, and if he abides by the terms of his plea agreement, the charge will be wiped from his record.
Hopefully, sentences like Mannion's become the norm and not the exception.