Westmoreland County Man Charged with Producing, Possessing Child Pornography
PITTSBURGH - A resident of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of production and possession of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
The four-count indictment named Timothy Eugene Shearer, 54, of Avonmore, Pa., as the sole defendant.
According to the indictment, from in or around February of 2009 to on or about September of 2009, and in or around October of 2006, Shearer persuaded, induced, and coerced a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct, for the purpose of producing visual depictions of that conduct, namely a digital video and other images. The indictment also charges that Shearer possessed visual depictions, namely, digital image files and a video file, depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 80 years in prison, a fine of $1,000,000, 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pennsylvania State Police 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 launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."