Skip to main content
Press Release

Two Harrisburg Men Guilty Of Possessing Child Pornograhy

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

HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that on December 13, 2016, Timothy Rissmiller, age 44, and on December 15, 2016, John L. Gilbert, III, age 36, both of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty this week to possession of child pornography before Chief United States Magistrate Judge Martin C. Carlson. 

According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Gilbert and Rissmiller were apprehended by the Harrisburg Bureau of Police after the pair printed photographs containing child pornography at a Harrisburg drugstore.  The men were identified when they called a clerk over to help them with the photo printing when it malfunctioned.  Police who responded seized the pornographic images of prepubescent children and the surveillance video showing Gilbert and Rissmiller in the store.  Officers also searched the halfway house the men were living in as part of their federal supervised release for a prior child exploitation offense involving child pornography. During this search, officers located additional images of child pornography and graphic stories about engaging in sexual activity with children. 

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Harrisburg Bureau of Police.  Assistant United States Attorney Meredith A. Taylor is prosecuting 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 For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources."

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.

A violation of possession of child pornography in this case carries an enhanced penalty requiring a mandatory minimum of 10 years’ imprisonment and a statutory maximum penalty of 20 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.       


# # #

Updated December 19, 2016

Project Safe Childhood