News and Press Releases

Catholic Priest Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for Possessing Pornographic Images of Boys

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2014

PITTSBURGH - A Catholic priest has been sentenced in federal court to 36 months in prison, followed by 12 years supervised release, on his conviction of possession of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

United States District Judge Nora Barry Fischer imposed the sentence on David Dzermejko, 65, of Braddock, Pa.

According to information presented to the court, Dzermejko, a Catholic priest, possessed on Jan. 11, 2013, in excess of 100 photographs in computer graphics files, depicting the sexual exploitation of pubescent and prepubescent boys. The child pornography was found on various computers and computer-related equipment taken from Dzermejko’s former residence in Pittsburgh, Pa., following the execution of a search warrant.

Dzermejko had been viewing child pornography for more than 10 years, had acquired the images on-line from various websites, and had traveled on numerous occasions to Thailand where he engaged in sexual encounters with teen boys, some of whom he thereafter maintained an on-line relationship.

Assistant United States Attorney Carolyn J. Bloch prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Detectives of the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, and other officers of the Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Dzermejko.

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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