News and Press Releases

scrnaton man sentenced to prison for possessing child pornography

April 19, 2011

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, announced that a Scranton resident was sentenced to two years in prison yesterday by Senior U.S. District Court Judge A. Richard Caputo for possessing 22 images of child pornography.

      According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, Robert Ward, age 43, admitted to possessing 19 photos and three videos of child pornography on his computer during April 2008.

      Ward was indicted by a grand jury on February 16, 2010, as a result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Scranton Police.

      Judge Caputo, in imposing sentence, noted that a prison sentence was warranted in the case even though the defendant possessed a relatively small number of images because viewing those images helps to create a market for the sexual abuse of children.

     Judge Caputo also ordered that Ward serve five years of supervised release following his prison sentence. Ward must also pay a $100 special assessment.

      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

      U.S. Attorney Smith noted that Assistant United States Attorney Francis P. Sempa prosecuted the case.


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