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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 9, 2017

Arizona Man Charged with Coercing a Minor to have Sex, Travelling for Sex with a Minor and Receipt and Possession of Child Pornography

PITTSBURGH - A former Arizona resident has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on charges of coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity, travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, and receipt and possession of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song announced today.

The five-count indictment, returned on November 8, named Alastair Lee Stewart, age 25, of Van Buren, Arkansas, as the sole defendant.

According to the indictment, from on or about November 15, 2016 to March 26, 2017, Stewart used facilities and means of interstate and foreign commerce, specifically the internet and a cellular phone, to knowingly persuade, induce, entice, and coerce minor, Minor A, to engage in sexual activity. Also, from March 15, 2017 to March 26, 2017, Stewart knowingly travelled in interstate commerce for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with another person, Minor A. Further, on March 5, 2017 and March 22, 2017, Stewart knowingly received images containing material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor. The indictment further alleges that on March 24, 2017, Stewart possessed images in computer graphic files, the production of which involved the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

The law provides for a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a maximum term of supervised release of life, and a fine of $1,250,000. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Jessica Lieber Smolar is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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.justice.gov/psc.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated November 9, 2017