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PITTSBURGH MAN HELD ON FEDERAL CHILD EXPLOITATION CHARGES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday April 1, 2011

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Robert J. Kloss, Jr., 37, of the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, has been detained on federal child pornography charges, announced Pamela C. Marsh, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

The two-count indictment filed in federal district court in February of this year, alleges that between May 2010 and February 2011, Kloss engaged in a series of internet chats in which he solicited, distributed, and transported child pornography. During a detention hearing held yesterday before United States Magistrate Judge Elizabeth M. Timothy, a special agent from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement testified that Kloss engaged in several online chats with an individual who, unbeknownst to Kloss, was an undercover detective with the Pensacola Police Department. During those chats, Kloss wrote of his desire to engage in sexual acts with minor females and described how he had begun to engage in such acts with a minor family member. A search of Kloss’ computer revealed Kloss had engaged in similar online chats with others and had distributed child pornography via the internet. The agent testified that, in these chats, Kloss expressed his desire to engage in sexual acts with minors while the children’s parents watched.

Trial is scheduled for May 2, 2011, before Senior United States District Judge Lacey A. Collier. Kloss faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years’ up to twenty years’ imprisonment on the charges.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched by the Department of Justice in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to 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 case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David L. Goldberg of the Northern District of Florida.

An indictment is merely a formal charge by the grand jury. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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