News and Press Releases

Lawrence County Man Sentenced to 19+ Years in Prison for Child Exploitation Crimes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 9, 2013

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A Lawrence County man has been sentenced in federal court to 235 months in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, on his conviction of child exploitation crimes, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

United States District Judge Nora Barry Fischer imposed the sentence on Patrick Joseph Kofalt, 56. According to information presented to the court, on or about Dec. 2, 2009, Kofalt received, possessed and accessed material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor. Judge Fischer specifically found credible the accounts of vulnerable child victims who reported years of sexual offending by Kofalt and found Kofalt to be a serious threat to children.

Assistant United States Attorney Soo C. Song prosecuted this case on behalf of the government. In connection with the sentencing, Ms. Song presented evidence that disclosures by a six-year-old child in 2009 prompted the seizure of more than 1,000 images of child pornography which had been carefully encrypted and saved by Kofalt in computer files. Three additional sexual assault victims of Kofalt were eventually identified by law enforcement.

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation, together with the Pennsylvania State Police, for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution on Kofalt.

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.

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