News and Press Releases

Springdale Plan Sentenced to 78 Months in Prison for Possession Child Pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 13, 2012

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - An Allegheny County resident has been sentenced in federal court to 78 months imprisonment to be followed by 10 years supervised release on his conviction of possession of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

United States District Judge Nora Barry Fischer imposed the sentence on Nicholas Birkner, 33, of Springdale, Pa.

According to information presented to the court, on April 1, 2011, Birkner 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.

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

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the FBI Pittsburgh’s High Tech Crimes Task Force (PHTCTF) for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Birkner.

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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