News and Press Releases

Former hazle township man admits to child pornography offense

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2011

    The United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a 38-year-old man who previously resided in Luzerne County, pleaded guilty last Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Malachy E. Mannion to downloading child pornography onto a computer.

     According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, Leonard Schweitzer, who resided in Hazle Township at the time of the offense, downloaded the child pornography during November and December of 2009.

      The terms of the plea agreement state that the government and the defendant have agreed that the sentence imposed in the case should be not less than five years in prison and not more than 10 years in prison, to be followed by a life term of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment. U.S. District Court Senior Judge Richard P. Conaboy has scheduled sentencing in the case for June 22, 2011.

      Schweitzer was indicted by a federal grand jury in March 2010, as a result of an investigation by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of the Department of Homeland Security.

      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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