Ashville Man Pleads Guilty to Producing and Possessing Material Depicting the Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – A resident of Ashville, PA, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of production and possession of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, United States Attorney Eric G. Olshan announced today.
Michael Sollenberger, age 41, of Ashville, PA pleaded guilty to Counts One, Two, and Three of the Indictment before Senior United States District Judge Kim R. Gibson.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from on or about Jan. 8, 2019 to Jan. 8, 2020, and from on or about Feb. 21, 2018 to Feb. 21, 2019, Sollenberger produced images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct using materials that were shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce. Further, from on or about June 10, 2020 to June 12, 2020, Sollenberger possessed images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, which were produced using prepubescent minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The images were produced using materials that were shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.
Judge Gibson scheduled sentencing for November 30, 2023. The law provides for a total sentence of 120 years in prison, a fine of $750,000, or both. According to the terms of the plea agreement accepted by the Court, Sollenberger will be sentenced to at least 35 years in prison. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Arnold P. Bernard, Jr. is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Department of Homeland Security Investigations and Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Sollenberger.
This case was brought as a 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.