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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Old Forge Man Pleads Guilty To Online Enticement

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that an Old Forge man pleaded guilty today in Scranton before U.S. District Court Judge A. Richard Caputo to online enticement.

     According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, Jeffrey Pettinato, age 51, was charged in a felony Information in November 2012 for committing the offenses at various times between July 2012 through August 2012. Pettinato used a computer and attempted to persuade, induce, entice, and coerce a minor to engage in sexual activity.

     In this particular case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute is life imprisonment and a minimum of 10 years’ imprisonment, 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.

     Pettinato will also be required to follow sexual offender registration requirements pursuant to the Adam Walsh Act. A sentencing date has been scheduled for April 30, 2013.

     Smith noted that 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."

     Prosecution is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Olshefski.


Updated April 9, 2015