Bradford Man Indicted On Child Sexual Exploitation Charges
ERIE, Pa. - Acting United States Attorney Robert S. Cessar announced today, March 9, 2010, that Michael Eugene Begin of Bradford, Pennsylvania, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Erie on charges of violating federal laws relating to the sexual exploitation of children.
The two-count indictment named Begin, age 33, as the sole defendant.
According to the indictment presented to the court, Begin utilized a cellular telephone and the Internet in an effort to entice a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity. Begin also transported obscene material to a minor.
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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Christian A. Trabold, who presented the case to the grand jury, indicated that the law provides for a maximum total sentence of life in prison, a fine of $500,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the City of Bradford Police Department, Chief Michael P. Close, conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.