News and Press Releases

Jury Finds Washington County Man Guilty on Child Sexual Exploitation Charges

August 1, 2014

PITTSBURGH - After deliberating approximately three hours, a federal jury of five men and seven women found David Cunningham guilty of three counts of receipt, distribution and possession of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Cunningham, 42, of Eighty Four, Pa., was tried before United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon in Pittsburgh.

According to Assistant United States Attorneys Soo C. Song and Jessica Lieber Smolar, who prosecuted the case, the evidence presented at trial established that Cunningham knowingly received, distributed and possessed material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor.

Judge Bissoon scheduled sentencing for Nov. 12, 2014, at 10 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 50 years in prison, a fine of $750,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based on the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Cunningham.

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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