Maryland Man Sentenced To 267 Months’ Imprisonment On Child Pornography Charges
WILLIAMSPORT - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Marc Punzalan, age 27, formerly of Maryland, was sentenced to 267 months in prison to be followed by 10 years of supervised release by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Matthew W. Brann on child pornography charges.
According to U.S. Attorney John C. Gurganus, Punzalan pleaded guilty to attempted sexual exploitation of a child. In 2013, Punzalan, through the use of an internet messenger service, coerced a 13-year-old child to send him nude photographs of herself. Over the course of two days in June 2013, Punzalan sent hundreds of messages to the 13-year-old victim. In these messages, Punzalan attempted to extort the 13-year-old victim to send him additional nude images by threatening to tell her parents and the police that she had sent such pictures on prior occasions. Punzalan continued to harass and blackmail her despite her repeated requests for him to stop. Punzalan continued to threaten her even after she told him that his demands had her contemplating suicide. The 13-year-old victim eventually became so emotionally distraught that she committed suicide on the second day of Punzalan’ s threats and harassment.
Punzalan committed similar acts against other young girls at the same time in Maryland, where he was living at the time. After hearing from several of the dozen family and friends present to support the 13-year-old victim, Chief Judge Brann called Punzalan’s conduct “sickening” and said Punzalan’s predatory behavior caused irreparable harm.
Punzalan is presently serving a sentence from the District of Maryland for child exploitation offenses from that district. The 267-month sentence imposed by the Chief Judge Brann will result in an overall sentence of 30 years’ imprisonment for Punzalan.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the South Williamsport Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Geoffrey W. MacArthur prosecuted 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.