News and Press Releases

Erie Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing, Distributing Child Pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 4, 2012

ERIE, Pa. - A resident of Erie, Pa., pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of violating federal laws relating to the sexual exploitation of children, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Michael Vay Daratany, 35, pleaded guilty to two counts before United States District Judge Sean J. McLaughlin.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Daratany distributed and possessed computer images and movies depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Many of the images and movies found on Daratany's computer equipment depicted the sexual abuse of infants and toddlers.

Judge McLaughlin scheduled sentencing for Feb. 20, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 30 years in prison, a fine of $500,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court detained Daratany.

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

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Charlottesville, Virginia Police Department conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Daratany.

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.justice.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

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