News and Press Releases


March 24, 2011

    The United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a 41-year-old Bradford County resident pleaded guilty today to receiving and distributing child pornography.

     According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, Christopher J. Stephani, Columbia Crossroads, Pennsylvania, admitted to using a computer to download and distribute images of child pornography between 2008 and March 4, 2010. Stephani pleaded guilty before Senior U.S. District Court Judge Edwin M. Kosik.

     A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.

     Stephani was indicted by a federal grand jury on July 20, 2010, as a result of an investigation by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of the Department of Homeland Security, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Lackawanna County District Attorney's Office.

      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

     This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa.


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