Moon Twp. Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing Child Pornography Videos and Images
PITTSBURGH - A resident of Allegheny County, Pa. pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of possession of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
Lawrence M. Winter, 45, formerly of Moon Township, Pa., pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Gary L. Lancaster.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that on or about Nov. 2, 2010, Winter was found to be in unlawful possession of thousands of still images and hundreds of videos depicting the sexual exploitation of children, many of whom had not attained the age of 12 years and some of whom were depicted bound.
Judge Lancaster scheduled sentencing for Feb. 15, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Winter, who has been in federal custody while awaiting the guilty plea proceeding, was ordered to remain detained pending sentencing. 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 Carolyn J. Bloch is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Pennsylvania State Police and the Moon Township Police Department conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Winter.
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."