norristown man sentenced for production and possession of child pornography
Gary Romano, 56, of Norristown, Pennsylvania, was sentenced today to 20 years in prison for production and possession of child pornography. Romano posed as a babysitter for the sole purpose of gaining access to a 2-year old girl in order to sexually exploit her. Romano pleaded guilty to the charges in August.
In October 2009, defendant Romano posted an advertisement on "sittercity.com,"
which is a national, on-line nanny and babysitting service. He posted:
I love kids, reading to them, playing games, doing
crafts or making snacks, and other things kids like.
Mine are grown now, so I am looking to being kind
of a step-grandfather by babysitting to be with kids
Romano also obtained and offered to prospective clients a security background check. He was contacted by and corresponded with a parent, and participated in an interview with that parent. The parent hired Romano to babysit his daughter for only a couple of hours on one occasion. In that short time, Romano exploited the little girl. He photographed the exploitation with his cell phone and then sent the images to another pedophile in Oregon via the Internet.
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 case was jointly investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with assistance from the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Denise S. Wolf.
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, EASTERN DISTRICTof PENNSYLVANIA
Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
PATTY HARTMAN, Media Contact, 215-861-8525