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Press Release

Williamsport Man Sentenced To 192 Months’ Imprisonment On Child Exploitation Offenses

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

WILLIAMSPORT - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Joel Kiessling, age 55, of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, was sentenced yesterday to 192 months’ imprisonment by United States District Court Chief Judge Matthew W. Brann, for child exploitation offenses.

According to U.S. Attorney John C. Gurganus, Kiessling previously entered a guilty plea in November 2018, to attempting to entice a minor to travel for sexual purposes and possession of child pornography. Kiessling was in contact with multiple underage females and was attempting to have them travel to Pennsylvania from out of state to have sex with him.

Based on Kiessling’s prior offenses, Chief Judge Brann found that Kiessling was fully aware of the potential consequences of his actions yet remained undeterred.

The case was investigated by the Williamsport Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant U.S. 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 For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources."

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Updated June 17, 2022

Project Safe Childhood