Gettysburg Man Charged With Production Of Child Pornography
HARRISBURG – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a Gettysburg man has been charged with production of child pornography involving children under 12 who were in his custody.
According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Steven L. Berwager, age 73, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania was charged in a Criminal Information with producing videos of minor children in his custody engaging with Berwager in sexually explicit conduct.
Berwager was arrested on March 23, 2016 after a search of his home by state and federal law enforcement officers led to the recovery of thousands of images of child pornography stored on electronic devices. Berwager has been in custody ever since his arrest. He was recently charged by state authorities in Adams County with sexual assault charges involving the same minor victims.
The government also filed a plea agreement in the case which is subject to the approval of the Court.
The case was investigated by the United States Department of Homeland Security Investigations, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Adams County District Attorney’s office. Prosecution is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney William A. Behe.
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."
Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.
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.
The maximum penalty under federal law is a mandatory 15 years term of imprisonment up to 30 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under federal law, 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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