Pittsburgh Man Pleads Guilty to Distributing Child Pornography
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Allegheny County pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of distribution of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
James W. Vertullo, 50, of Pittsburgh, Pa., pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Terrence F. McVerry.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that on or about Feb. 19, 2012, and Feb. 26, 2012, Vertullo distributed images in computer graphics files containing material depicting the sexual exploitation of minors, as well as knowingly received visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct by computer. On or about Feb. 29, 2012, Vertullo 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.
Judge McVerry scheduled sentencing for April 12, 2013, at 9:30 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 20 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 Jessica Lieber Smolar is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Vertullo.
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.justice.gov/psc.