News and Press Releases

Wilkes-Barre Man Charged with Producing Child Pornography and Interstate Extortion

May 15, 2012

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a 28-year-old Wilkes-Barre resident was indicted today by a federal grand jury in Scranton for producing and attempting to produce child pornography, and interstate extortion.

     According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, the grand jury alleges that Joseph J. Ostrowski, a football coach at Holy Redeemer High School in Wilkes-Barre, persuaded and enticed, and attempted to persuade and entice, a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct.

     The charges against Ostrowski resulted from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and involved FBI agents from Scranton and Michigan.

     If convicted of producing or attempting to produce child pornography, Ostrowski faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a possible maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. If convicted of the interstate extortion charge, Ostrowski faces up to two years in prison.

     This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a U.S. Department of Justice nationwide initiative to combat 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

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


An indictment and criminal information is not evidence of guilt but simply a description of the charge made by the United States Attorney against a defendant. A charged defendant is presumed innocent until a jury returns a unanimous finding that the United States has proved the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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