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Justice News

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

Thursday, March 15, 2018

York County Man Charged With Child Exploitation Offenses

HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Robert T. Donelon, age 55, of Etters, Pennsylvania, was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury for offenses involving the exploitation of minors.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the indictment alleges that on January 10, 2018, Donelon possessed images of child pornography depicting a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and received child pornography over the internet. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of all electronic equipment connected with the images of child pornography.

This case was investigated by the West York Borough Police Department with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney James T. Clancy 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."

Indictments 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 for the receipt of child pornography offenses is 20 years’ imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a $250,000 fine.  That charges carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 5 years.  The possession of child pornography charge is punishable by a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 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.


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Project Safe Childhood
Updated March 15, 2018