SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that on January 12, 2022, Christopher Capozza, age 40, of Newington, Connecticut, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Robert D. Mariani to one count of online enticement of a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity and one count of production of child pornography.
According to United States Attorney John C. Gurganus, Capozza admitted at his guilty plea that between July 23, 2020, and December 31, 2020, he used Snapchat to arrange to meet and have sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old at motels and other places. Capozza also admitted that on August 23, 2020, he persuaded the same minor victim to make several pornographic videos and then send those videos to him via Snapchat.
The charges stem from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Omaha, Nebraska Police Department, and the United States Attorney’s Offices for the Districts of Connecticut and Nebraska. Assistant United States Attorney James M. Buchanan is prosecuting the case.
The maximum penalties under federal law for these offenses is life imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. The production of child pornography charge carries a mandatory minimum 15 years in prison. The online enticement charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. 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.
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."
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