News and Press Releases

January 26, 2011

SCHUYLKILL COUNTY MAN CHARGED WITH PRODUCING
AND TRAFFICKING IN CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

     The United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a 36-year-old Schuylkill County resident was indicted by a federal grand jury yesterday for producing, receiving and distributing child pornography.

     According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, the grand jury alleges that Jonathan Binns, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, produced images of child pornography and used a computer to download and distribute images of child pornography between February 2010 and October 2010. The indictment charges Binns with two counts of producing child pornography and one count of receiving and distributing child pornography.

     The charges against Binns stem from an investigation by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the Department of Homeland Security (ICE), the Pennsylvania State Police, and Lackawanna County District Attorney's Office.

     U.S. Attorney Smith noted that if Binns is convicted of the charges, he faces a mandatory 15-year prison sentence and up to 30 years in prison on each count of producing child pornography, and a mandatory five-year prison sentence and up to 20 years in prison on the receiving and distributing child pornography charge.

     U.S. Attorney Smith noted that 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.

     U.S. Attorney Smith noted that the case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa.

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An indictment and criminal information is not evidence of guilt but simply a description of the charge made by the United States Attorney against a defendant. A charged defendant is presumed innocent until a jury returns a unanimous finding that the United States has proved the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

Peter J. Smith
U.S. Attorney
(717) 221-4482
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