News and Press Releases

Pittsburgh Man Pleads Guilty To Possession Of Child Pornography

January 4, 2012

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Pittsburgh, Penn., pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of violating federal child sexual exploitation laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Lee Sonis, 29, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Terrence F. McVerry to one count of possessing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Sonis possessed the visual depictions between June 6, 2010, and Nov. 18, 2010.  The court was further advised that the crime was detected by a member of the Pennsylvania State Police.

Judge McVerry scheduled sentencing for May 4, 2012, at 10:30 a.m.  The law provides for a total sentence of up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $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 Craig W. Haller is prosecuting this case on behalf of the United States.

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

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