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Press Release

Former Luzerne County Man Sentenced To Prison For Failing To Update Sex Offender Registration

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, announced that a 50-year-old former resident of Luzerne County was sentenced to 13 months in federal prison Thursday by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Richard P. Conaboy for failing to update his sex offender registration.

     According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, Joseph Hannel previously pleaded guilty to moving from Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, where he was registered as a sex offender, to Virginia without notifying authorities in both states as required by law. Hannel was required to register as a sex offender and update that registration after serving a state prison sentence for involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and sexual abuse of children.

     Hannel was indicted by a federal grand jury in October 2012, as a result of an investigation by the U.S. Marshal’s Service.

     Judge Conaboy also ordered Hannel to be placed on supervised release for five years after serving his prison sentence. Hannel must also pay a $100 special assessment.

     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 internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources."

     The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa.

Updated April 9, 2015