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Justice News

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

Monday, August 12, 2013

Erie Man Sentenced To Thiry Years In Jail For Child Exploitation Offenses

ERIE, Pa. - A resident of Erie, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to 30 years in prison and lifetime supervised release on his conviction of violating federal firearms laws and laws relating to the sexual exploitation of children, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Senior United States District Judge Maurice B. Cohill, Jr. imposed the sentence on Douglas E. Melter, 32.

According to information presented to the court, Melter attempted to induce a woman to procure an eleven year old female for Melter to sexually abuse and photograph naked. Melter offered to pay $1 ,200 for one hour alone with the girl at his home. Melter also possessed computer images depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct and possessed a firearm after having been convicted of multiple felonies.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Cohill noted Melter's extensive criminal history and the very troubling aspects of Melter's conduct in the case.

Assistant United States Attorney Christian A. Trabold prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Erie Police Department for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Melter.

Launched in February 2006, Project Safe Childhood is a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys' Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated July 14, 2015