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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Court Upholds Sentence Of Former Police Officer In Child Pornography Case

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has upheld the sentence imposed on a former police chief for possession of child pornography.

     In October 2012, Blaine R. Handerhan, a former Mount Carmel Borough police officer, was sentenced to serve 96 months in prison after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography.  The charges against Handerhan stemmed from an investigation into the distribution of child pornography by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Handerhan was identified by investigators and a search warrant was executed at his residence.  His computer was seized and an analysis of it conducted by the Pennsylvania State Police identified 147,070 images and 1,252 video files of child pornography.

     Handerhan appealed his sentence, handed down by Senior U.S. District Judge William W. Caldwell in Harrisburg, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia.  Handerhan argued on appeal that he should be re-sentenced because the sentencing judge did not properly rule on all of the arguments he made at sentencing.  After briefing and oral argument, the Court of Appeals upheld the sentence imposed by Judge Caldwell, finding it to be correct both in procedure and substance.

     Assistant U.S. Attorney James T. Clancy handled both the prosecution and appeal of this case.

Updated April 16, 2015