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Press Release

Charleroi Man Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Receiving Sexual Images of a Minnesota Minor

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

PITTSBURGH - A former resident of Charleroi, Pennsylvania, has pleaded guilty and been sentenced in federal court to 25 years’ incarceration and 12 years of supervised release on his conviction for two counts of receipt of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced today.

United States District Judge William S. Stickman, IV imposed the sentence on Joey Leroy Barton, age 52.

According to information presented to the court, on March 28, 2019 and April 11, 2019, Barton, while located within the Western District of Pennsylvania, received and attempted to receive digital images depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor who was located in Minnesota. Barton contacted the minor via Facebook Messenger and conversed with the minor online through at least November of 2019. During their conversation, Barton sent to the minor sexually explicit images of himself, as well as adult pornography. Barton also began planning to meet up with the minor in person to engage in sexual activity. In his messages to the minor, Barton acknowledged the minor’s young age and that he knew that his conduct with the minor was illegal.

In imposing sentence, Judge Stickman underscored the seriousness of Barton’s criminal conduct, stating that it “falls below the minimal standards of decency.” Judge Stickman stated that the 25-year incarceration sentence will protect the public while promoting deterrence for Barton and others who may choose to engage in similar criminal activity.

Assistant United States Attorney Heidi M. Grogan prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

United States Attorney Chung commended the Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations, the Roseville (Minnesota) Police Department, and the North Strabane Police Department for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Barton.

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

Updated January 27, 2023

Project Safe Childhood