News and Press Releases

Pittsburgh Man Charged With Possession, Receipt, Distribution Of Child Pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 13, 2012

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Allegheny County has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of distribution, receipt and possession of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

The five-count indictment, returned on June 6, and unsealed today, named James W. Vertullo, 50, as the sole defendant.

According to the indictment, 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. It is also alleged that 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.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 90 years in prison, a fine of $1,250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses 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 Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

An indictment 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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