News and Press Releases

Pittsburgh Man Pleads Guilty To Possession Of Child Pornography

August 17, 2010

PITTSBURGH, Pa. ‑ A resident of Pittsburgh, Pa., pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of possession of child pornography, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Christopher Rys, 26, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge David S. Cercone.

In connection with the guilty plea,  the court was advised that in and around February 2008, Rys possessed computer video files depicting a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The videos and the materials used to produce them had been shipped and transported in interstate and foreign commerce. The case began with an investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police into online file sharing over a peer‑to‑peer or "P2P" network known as Limewire. Limewire is a software that creates a network among individual computer users, allowing them to share various electronic files. A Pennsylvania State Police investigator discovered that Rys was sharing known child pornography files, leading to a search of Rys's residence and the discovery of additional files.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for Dec. 16, 2010, at 10 a.m.  The law provides for a total sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Luke Dembosky is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, a member of the Western Pennsylvania Crimes Against Children Task Force, conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

This case is being prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood.  Launched in February 2006, Project Safe Childhood is a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys' Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

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