News and Press Releases

Child pornography charged filed against four People

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 15, 2014

Child pornography charges were filed against four people in unrelated cases, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

Mark A. Steffee, 43, of Hartville, Ohio, was charged with enticement and possession of child pornography. The indictment charges that from on or about September 1, 2005, through on or about December 1, 2005, and again from on or about March 5, 2013, through on or about March 27, 2013, Steffee, knowingly used a computer connected to the Internet, to attempt to persuade, induce, entice and coerce a 14-year-old girl to engage in illegal sexual activity with him.  The indictment also charges that on March 27, 2013, Steffee possessed a computer that contained child pornography.

Marcus W. Cover, 30, of from Midvale, Ohio, was charged with receiving, distributing and possessing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The indictment charges that from on or about September 5, 2013, through on or about September 29, 2013, Cover knowingly received and distributed in interstate and foreign commerce, by computer, numerous computer files, which files contained visual depictions of real minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.  The indictment also charges that on December 16, 2013, Cover possessed a computer that contained child pornography.

Kimberly Metzdorf, 23, of Ashtabula, Ohio, was charged with producing, receiving, distributing and possessing child pornography. The indictment charges that on or about July 8, 2013, July 12, 2013 and July 15, 2013, Metzdorf permitted a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct, knowing that such visual depiction would be transported in interstate and foreign commerce.  The indictment also charges that from on or about July 3, 2013, through on or about July 23, 2013, Metzdorf knowingly received and distributed in interstate and foreign commerce, numerous digital files, which files contained visual depictions of real minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.  The indictment also charges that on December 17, 2013, Metzdorf possessed an iphone that contained child pornography.

Nicholas Gerhardt, 68, of Canton, Ohio, was charged with receiving, distributing and possessing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The indictment charges that from on or about November 19, 2012, through on or about December 1, 2012, Gerhardt knowingly received and distributed in interstate and foreign commerce, by computer, numerous computer files, which files contained visual depictions of real minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.  The indictment also charges that on February 13, 2013, Gerhardt possessed a computer and an external hard drive each that contained child pornography.

If convicted, the sentences in these cases will be determined by the court after consideration of the federal sentencing guidelines which depend upon a number of factors unique to each case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the unique characteristics of the violation.  In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

The Steffee case was investigated by the United States Secret Service, the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Hartville Police Department. The Cover case was investigated by the Canton Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Canton Police Department. The Metzdorf case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations. The Gerhardt case was investigated by the Canton Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Canton Police Department.

These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael A. Sullivan. 

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

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