News and Press Releases

Peckville Man Charged Federally With Online Enticement Of Minors

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 5, 2012

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a Peckville man has been charged with the crime of online enticement.

     United States Attorney Peter J. Smith stated that a federal grand jury in Scranton returned an indictment Tuesday against Mark Kandel, age 52, charging him with five counts of allegedly committing the offenses between January through November 2012.  The indictment alleges that Kandel used the internet and a cellular device in attempts to persuade, induce, entice, and coerce minors described in the indictment as minor number 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 to engage in sexual activity for which Kandel could be charged with a criminal offense.

     Kandel was taken into custody today and brought before U.S. Magistrate Judge Malachy Mannion. After a hearing, Judge Mannion ordered Kandel to be detained pending trial.

     On November 7, 2012, Kandel was arrested by detectives from the Lackawanna County District Attorney’s Office and charged with attempted solicitation of a minor.

     According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, this case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

     The investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Lackawanna County District Attorney’s Office and the Blakely Police Department. Prosecution is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Olshefski.    

     Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

     A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

     In this particular case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute is life imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

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