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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 19, 2021

Pittsfield Man Charged with Child Pornography Offenses

BOSTON – A federal grand jury in Springfield last week indicted a Pittsfield man on child pornography charges.

Benjamin Shacar, 34, was indicted on April 15, 2021 on 10 counts of receipt of child pornography and one count possession of child pornography. Shacar was charged by criminal complaint in March 2021.

According to charging documents, between August 2020 and March 2021, Shacar allegedly received and possessed child pornography. Law enforcement agents executed a search warrant at Shacar’s residence and uncovered a thumb drive containing multiple files depicting children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. During an on-scene interview, Shacar allegedly admitted that he viewed and downloaded child pornography from the internet.

The charge of receipt of child pornography provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and up to 20 years in prison. The charge of possession of child pornography provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. Each charge also provides for a mandatory minimum of five years and up to life of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; William S. Walker, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Hampden County Sheriff Nicholas Cocchi; Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and Pittsfield Police Chief Michael J. Wynn made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex J. Grant of Mendell’s Springfield Branch Office is prosecuting the case.

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 the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated April 19, 2021