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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 24, 2014

west seneca man charged with receipt of child pornography

          BUFFALO, N.Y.—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Joseph S. Heleniak, 68, of West Seneca, N.Y., was charged by criminal complaint with receipt of child pornography. The charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison, a maximum penalty of 40 years, and a fine of $250,000 or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango, who is handling the case, stated that the defendant was arrested today, January 24, 2014, following the execution of a search warrant at his residence. According to the criminal complaint, on August 30, 2013, Heleniak sent an e-mail containing three image files of child pornography. The images depicted female children under the age of 16 engaging in sexual activities with adult males.

The defendant made an initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Hugh B. Scott and is being held pending a detention hearing for Tuesday, January 28th at 10:00 a.m.

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 via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

The arrest is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Brian P. Boetig, Special Agent in Charge.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.