News and Press Releases

Pike County Man Pleads Guilty to Producing Child Pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 10, 2012

     The United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that today in federal court, 45-year-old Michael Bonsignore of Dingmans Ferry, Pike County, entered a plea of guilty before United States District Court Judge Edwin M Kosik in Scranton to a charge of producing child pornography.

     According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, Bonsignore pleaded guilty pursuant to the terms of a plea agreement which provides for Bonsignore to be sentenced to a term of 25 years in prison and lifetime registration as a sex offender under the Adam Walsh Act. The Adam Walsh Act is a federal statute that organizes sex offenders into three tiers and mandates that Tier 3 offenders, the most serious tier, update their whereabouts every three months with lifetime registration requirements.

     The charges against Bonsignore stem from an investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police Computer Crimes Unit and United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations(HSI), with the assistance of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Bonsignore produced the images and distributed them over the internet. A forensic examination of his computer revealed the same images of child pornography discovered in Sweden. The victims depicted in the child pornography were discovered there and identified. The images were produced at various times between March 2007 and April 2011.

     The Department of Homeland Security Investigations Office requests that anyone having information concerning activities of Michael Bonsignore involving possible child pornography or exploitation contact the Homeland Security Investigations Tip Line at (866) 347-2423 and request that any information provided be forwarded to the Homeland Security Office in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

     "Sexually exploiting children is a crime that has long-lasting traumatic effects on the most vulnerable members of our society," said John P. Kelleghan, Special Agent in Charge of ICE--HSI in Philadelphia. "HSI and its law enforcement partners work tirelessly to investigate child predators who seek to sexually exploit innocent children and bring them to justice."

     U.S. Attorney Smith noted that this case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide U.S. Department of Justice initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. 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.

    Prosecution of the case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Olshefski.

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