News and Press Releases

Grove City Man Pleads Guilty to Possession of Child Pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 18, 2014

PITTSBURGH - A Mercer County resident 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.

Joseph L. Bryer, 53, of Grove City, Pa., pleaded guilty yesterday to one count before United States District Judge Mark R. Hornak.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Bryer, on Aug. 23, 2011, possessed photographs and videos in computer graphics files, the production of which involved the use of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The videos and still images were downloaded and shared using peer-to-peer software installed on Bryer’s computer. The videos included those depicting prepubescent females engaging in sex acts with adults.

Judge Hornak scheduled sentencing for Oct. 9, 2014, at 2 p.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 10 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 prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court permitted Bryer to remain on bond.

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

The Homeland Security Investigations - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, with assistance from the United States Secret Service conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Bryer.

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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