Carbon County Man Pleads Guilty To Producing Child Pornography
SCRANTON- The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Grant Harris, age 36, of Carbon County, pleaded guilty today before Senior U.S. District Court Judge James M. Munley in Scranton, to producing child pornography.
According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Harris, who resided in Albrightsville at the time of the offense, admitted to persuading and enticing a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual image of that conduct.
The crime occurred sometime between 2008 and 2009, when the victim was eight-years-old. Harris was indicted by a federal grand jury in November 2015, shortly after agents and police discovered the child pornography on a computer used by the defendant.
Judge Munley ordered a pre-sentence investigation to be completed and scheduled sentencing in the case for February 17, 2017. Harris remains detained in prison pending sentencing.
The investigation was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Francis P. Sempa is prosecuting the case.
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.usdoj.gov/psc For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."
A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
Harris faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a potential maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.
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