News and Press Releases

Indian National Sentenced To 4 Years In Prison For Crossing State Lines For Sex With A Minor

May 11, 2012

ERIE, Pa. - A former resident of Illinois has been sentenced in federal court to 48 months in jail and 7 years supervised release on his conviction of violating federal laws relating to the sexual exploitation of children, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

United States District Judge Sean J. McLaughlin imposed the sentence on Ponmuthukumar Thangevelu, 35.

According to information presented to the court, Thangevelu, an Indian national in the United States on a work visa, traveled to Corry, Pennsylvania, from Illinois for the purpose of meeting a 14 year old victim and engaging in illicit sexual conduct. Thangevelu had initially met the victim on the Internet. Upon arrival in Corry in December 2009, Thangevelu was taken into custody. As part of his plea, Thangevelu agreed to forfeit his vehicle and an Apple iPhone to the United States.

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

Assistant United States Attorney Christian A. Trabold prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the Federal Bureau of lnvestigation and the Pennsylvania State Police for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Thangevelu.

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