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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Tennessee

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Erik R. Szczesh Sentenced To 51 Months In Federal Prison For Distribution Of Child Pornography

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – On Sept. 25, 2014, Erik Szczesh, 28, of Cleveland, Tenn., was sentenced to serve 51 months in prison by the Honorable Curtis L. Collier, U.S. District Judge.

Upon his release from prison, Szczesh will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for 10 years. He will also be subject to numerous special conditions of release which restrict his access to children and the internet.

Nashville police seized the phone of an individual who was taking pictures of children as they walked to and from school. Upon examination of the individual’s phone, they found the he had been trading child pornography with Szczesh. They also recovered a text conversation between Szczesh and this individual discussing abusing children.

Police subsequently searched Szczesh’s phone and found a total of 403 pornographic images of children and seven videos of the same, which, under the law, amounts to 928 images. When questioned by police Szczesh immediately confessed. He has agreed to pay restitution in an amount of $500.00 per victim, for a total of $3,000.

The indictment and subsequent conviction of Szczesh was the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney James T. Brooks represented the United States in the prosecution.

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 For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab “resources.”

Updated March 18, 2015