WASHINGTON – A resident of Washington County, Pa., was indicted today by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of possession, production and receipt of materials depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania David J. Hickton.
Jeffrey W. Herschell, 53, was charged with three counts in a superseding indictment.
According to the superseding indictment, in approximately February 2010, Herschell produced and received files depicting a minor in the Philippines engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Also, on approximately March 14, 2011, Herschell possessed visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
Herschell faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a fine of $750,000.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Lieber Smolar of the Western District of Pennsylvania and Trial Attorney Anitha S. Ibrahim of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation leading to the superseding indictment in this case.
An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov .