News and Press Releases

New Oxford Couple Sentenced to 540 and 180 Months’ Imprisonment on Federal Child Exploitation and Pornography Charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2012

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a New Oxford couple was sentenced today by Senior United States District Court Judge William W. Caldwell. Michael Strausbaugh, age 31, was sentenced to 540 months (45 years) in prison, $3,500 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. Rebecca Strausbaugh, age 33, was sentenced to 180 months (15 years) in prison, $1,200 fine and five years of supervised release.

     Senior United States District Court Judge William W. Caldwell said at the sentencing, “The offenses for which Mr. Strausbaugh was convicted especially victimized children who are subjected to this sickening and disgusting abuse involved in child pornography that’s occurred in this case. The trafficking and distribution of this material further victimizes the participants each time it is viewed and creates the demand that we know is out there for this type of smut.”

     According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, in March 2011, Michael Strausbaugh, and his wife, Rebecca Strausbaugh, were both charged with three counts of producing images depicting the sexual abuse of a child between the age of 5-8 months. Michael Strausbaugh was also charged with distribution and possession of child pornography.

     The charges stemmed from an investigation and arrest of a Canadian individual who received a sexual explicit image of an infant less than one year old from Michael Strausbaugh.

     The Strausbaughs were arrested at their home. Both went to trial in October 2011. Testimony at trial established that Michael Strausbaugh, aided by his wife, engaged in sexually explicit conduct with an infant in their care for the purpose of producing visual depictions or photographs on at least four separate occasions. Michael Strausbaugh then distributed these images over the internet.

     Evidence presented at the trial also showed that during the time that the images were taken, Michael Strausbaugh was on probation on state charges of indecent assault on a minor. His wife, Rebecca Strausbaugh had taken classes to serve as Michael Strausbaugh’s approved supervisor to monitor his interaction with children and ensure his compliance with the conditions of his probation.

     This case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service(USPIS), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Pennsylvania State Police-Mobile Computer Crime Lab. Prosecution was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Daryl F. Bloom.

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