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Press Release

Citizen of Bhutan with Permanent U.S. Residency Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison for Requesting and Receiving Sexually Explicit Images from a Child

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

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to 84 months of imprisonment and 5 years of supervised release on his conviction of receipt of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon imposed the sentence on Mukesh Khawas. According to information presented to the court, from June 14, 2016, to June 15, 2016, Khawas engaged in online chat conversations with a female child via the social networking/dating application, and during the conversations, Khawas requested and received sexually explicit images, knowing the minor victim had not yet attained 12 years of age.

In addition to his conviction for receipt of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, Khawas acknowledged his responsibility for the production and possession of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor. Khawas, who is a citizen of Bhutan but a lawful permanent resident of the United States, has also agreed to be deported to Bhutan upon the conclusion of his sentence without the ability to appeal or reenter the United States.

Assistant United States Attorneys Christy C. Wiegand and Jessica Lieber Smolar prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, and the West Virginia State Police conducted the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Khawas.

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 May 20, 2019

Project Safe Childhood