News and Press Releases

Pittsburgh-Area Man Admits Attempting To Entice A Minor To Have Sex

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 5, 2012

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Allegheny County, Penn., pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

John A. Brownlee, III, 62, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Terrence F. McVerry.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that beginning on or about Nov. 1, 2010, and continuing thereafter until on or about May12, 2011, Brownlee used facilities and means of interstate and foreign commerce, specifically a computer, the internet and the telephone, to knowingly attempt to persuade, induce, entice, and coerce a minor to engage in sexual activity.

Judge McVerry scheduled sentencing for May 11, 2012, at 9:30 a.m.  The law provides for a total sentence of not less than 10 years in prison and up to life, 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Brownlee.

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.

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