News and Press Releases

January 27, 2011


     The United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, announced today that the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has affirmed the sentence of Stephen Humanik, age 23. Humanik is currently serving a 210-month prison sentence for receiving child pornography during a six-year period. Humanik resided in Hanover Township, Pennsylvania, at the time he committed the offense.

     According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, Humanik was indicted by a federal grand jury on July 1, 2008, as a result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Pennsylvania State Police. Agents found more than 39,000 images of child pornography on Humanik's computer.

     Humanik pleaded guilty on December 12, 2008. He was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Court Judge James M. Munley on April 29, 2009. In sentencing Humanik, Judge Munley noted the large volume of child pornography images he collected, the extremely sadistic nature of some of the images, and Humanik's sharing of the images with others. Judge Munley also noted the harm done to the victims by further dissemination of the images depicting their sexual abuse.

     In appealing his sentence, Humanik claimed that the sentence was cruel and unusual punishment under the United States Constitution, and was unreasonable under the U.S. Sentencing Statute. The Third Circuit Court ruled, however, that the 17½ -year prison sentence did not violate the Eighth Amendment's bar against cruel and unusual punishment, and that the sentence, which was at the low end of the sentencing guideline range, was not unreasonable.

     U.S. Attorney Smith noted that parole has been abolished, and Humanik will be required to serve at least 85% of his 210-month sentence, assuming he receives full time off for good behavior while incarcerated.

     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

     The case and appeal were handled by Assistant United States Attorney Francis P. Sempa.


Peter J. Smith
U.S. Attorney
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