News and Press Releases

Beaver County Man Charged With Possession Of Child Pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2011

PITTSBURGH, Pa. ‑ One resident of Midland, Pennsylvania, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on a charge of possession of child pornography, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

The one‑count indictment, returned on Feb. 22, 2011, and unsealed today, named Mark Panton, 48, as the sole defendant.

According to the indictment, on Dec. 16, 2010, Panton possessed visual depictions, namely, images and videos in computer graphics files, the production of which involved the use of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Jessica Lieber Smolar is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Pennsylvania State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

An indictment or information is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. 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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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