OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA
Sharon L. Potter
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-0100 ● Contact: Fawn E. Thomas, Public Affairs Specialist
May 6, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Morgantown Resident Indicted on
Child Pornography Charges
CLARKSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA — A 34 year old Morgantown, West Virginia, resident was named in an Indictment returned on May 5, 2009, by a Federal Grand Jury sitting in Clarksburg, West Virginia.
United States Attorney Sharon L. Potter announced that JAMES BELOTTE was named in a two-count Indictment. Count One of the Indictment alleges that BELOTTE knowingly possessed a computer and computer disk that contained images of child pornography that had been transported in interstate commerce by means of a computer on February 8, 2008, in Morgantown. Count Two of the Indictment alleges that BELOTTE knowingly transported child pornography via a computer on December 25, 2007, in Morgantown.
If convicted, BELOTTE faces a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 on Count One; and a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 on Count Two.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sherry L. Muncy. The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service.
It should be noted that the charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations and not evidence of guilt, and that each defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
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