News and Press Releases

Avonmore Man Admits Producing Sexually Explicit Videos and Images of a Minor

April 4, 2013

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Westmoreland County pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of production of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Timothy Eugene Shearer, 54, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Mark R. Hornak.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that 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 charged that Shearer possessed visual depictions, namely, digital image files and a video file, depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

Judge Hornak scheduled sentencing for Aug. 7, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 30 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. 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 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 that led to the prosecution of Shearer.

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

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