PITTSBURGH - A resident of Clairton, Pennsylvania, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of Coercion and Enticement of a Minor to Engage in Illegal Sexual Activity, Production of Material Depicting the Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, and Distribution and Possession of Material Depicting the Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Acting United States Attorney Troy Rivetti announced today.
The six-count Indictment, returned on April 11, named Jeffrey A. McLaughlin, Jr., 41, as the sole defendant.
According to the Indictment presented to the Court, McLaughlin, on Sept. 9, 2020, distributed a video in a computer graphics and digital file, depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor to another individual located in the Philippines. The Indictment also alleges that McLaughlin coerced and attempted to coerce at least two minors to engage in sexual activity for which a person can be charged with a criminal offense during the periods of Aug. 5, 2021 to 17, 2021, Oct. 30, 2021 to Nov. 22, 2021, and May 6, 2022, to June 1, 2022. The Indictment further alleges that McLaughlin produced and attempted to produce from Oct. 30, 2021 to Nov. 22, 2021, videos and still images depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor. Lastly, McLaughlin is charged with possessing, on July 28, 2022, videos depicting the sexual exploitation of minors, some of whom had not attained the age of 12 years.
The law provides for a maximum total sentence of more than 30 years in prison, a fine of $1,500,000, or both. 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 Carolyn J. Bloch is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation in Pittsburgh and Buffalo, New York, conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this 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 www.justice.gov/psc.
An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.