Convicted Lehigh Acres Sex Offender Gets 10-Year Term For Having Child Sexual Abuse Images

Convicted Lehigh Acres Sex Offender Gets 10-Year Term For Having Child Sexual Abuse Images

A Lehigh Acres man convicted as a sex offender in 2011 was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in federal prison for possessing images and videos of the sexual abuse of children.

U.S. District Judge Sheri Polster Chappell handed down the sentence for Steven Thomas Baryla, 39. He pleaded guilty in January to the charges.

Baryla, who was convicted on federal charges of transporting child pornography in New Jersey in 2011, was also sentenced to a lifetime term of supervised release and ordered to register as a sex offender.

According to court documents, Baryla knowingly possessed child sexual abuse images and videos that he had obtained from the internet; he also accessed similar images depicting children engaged in sexually explicit conduct via social media applications such as Kik and Snapchat.

On June 20, 2019, a search warrant was executed at Baryla’s residence where agents from Homeland Security Investigations recovered Baryla’s cellphone.

Subsequent forensic analysis of Baryla’s cellphone revealed that it contained 106 images and 10 videos depicting children being sexually abused.

The internet history of the cellphone showed certain internet search terms, including “best state for sex offenders to live 2017” and “registered sex offender name change.”  

This case was 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. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, plvisit www.justice.gov/psc.

Michael Braun